Officers, residents promote safe neighborhoods

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 2, 2000

Local police officers traveled to 16 Natchez communities Tuesday in celebration of National Night Out — a nationwide block party to promote safe neighborhoods.

This is the sixth year the Natchez Police Department has cosponsored the event, which is celebrated around the world and sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch.

Investigator Tonja Butler of the Natchez Police Department said Night Out promotes communication between the public and police officers, especially for young children.

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&uot;It’s good to let them have interaction with the officers,&uot; she said.

Natchez Municipal Judge John M. Tipton told a group of children in Linwood Subdivision he wants them to have a positive image of police officers.

&uot;I don’t want you to get your ideas of what a police officer does from what you see on television,&uot; Tipton told the group. &uot;What I want you always to remember is a policeman is always your friend.&uot;

The neighborhoods that celebrated Night Out prepared food and activities for the children and were visited by local officials and police officers.

Some 30 million people in more than 9,000 communities, in all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases were expected to participated.

Tonya Norman, a resident of the Linwood Subdivision, said she thinks this type of event is good for children.

&uot;(It) helps the kids get together and keep them out of trouble,&uot; she said. &uot;It’s really nice to have stuff like this all the time.&uot;

Dr. Delecia Carey hosted the National Night Out for her neighborhood around Orleans Street and said she was pleased with the turnout.

&uot;There’s a lot of people here,&uot; she said. &uot;We didn’t expect this many people.&uot;

Carey is also a member of the board for the Natchez Downtown Development Association.

&uot;This seemed to me a really good thing for downtown and I wanted to support it from that standpoint,&uot;&160;she said.

The goal of National Night Out is strengthen community spirit and community partnerships, generate support for local anti-crime efforts and heighten crime and drug prevention awareness.