Law enforcement agencies to visit neighborhoods

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 19, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; A convoy of about 20 law enforcement cars will cruise the Miss-Lou Tuesday looking for fun.

National Night Out, an annual nation-wide celebration, is intended to &8220;give crime a going-away party,&8221; Officer Charles Woods of the Natchez Police Department said Tuesday.

The convoy, including officers from the Natchez Police Department, which is sponsoring the event, Adams County Sheriff&8217;s Office, Ferriday Police Department, Concordia Parish Sheriff&8217;s Office and Vidalia Police Department, among others, will drive lights flashing and sirens wailing from Ferriday to Natchez.

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Along the way, they will stop at block parties set up in various neighborhoods in Vidalia and Natchez. There, they will give brief talks on how to keep neighborhoods crime free.

The aim is to keep criminals out of neighborhoods by promoting community, Woods said.

Knowing your neighbors and what is normal in the neighborhood is one of the most important parts of preventing crime, Woods said.

&8220;Know who lives there, what vehicles are there, who comes and goes,&8221; he said. &8220;That way, if you see a strange person or hear an unusual noise at night, you know something&8217;s wrong.&8221;

The area&8217;s National Night Out gets bigger every year, Woods said. More and more people are forming the block parties, cooking out and meeting neighbors.

One of the newest additions to the parties is in Vidalia. This is the first year the town will be a stop on the tour, Woods said.

Orma Jean James, secretary for the Mississippi and Louisiana Crime Stoppers, helped organize the block party.

&8220;It&8217;s to draw the children out so they can meet police officers and sheriff officers,&8221; James said. &8220;That way, if they need one, they know they can go up to one and not be afraid of them.&8221;

The convoy will follow this schedule Tuesday night:

4Depart from NPD at 4 p.m. Drive to Ferriday, make a u-turn and proceed to Martin Luther King and Fourth Street in Vidalia. 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

4Hughes Lane off of Government Fleet Road 4:45 to 5 p.m.

4Mazique Lane 5:10 p.m. to 5:25 p.m.

4North Hampton Community 5:35 to 5:50 p.m. (102 North Hampton).

4Creek Street 6:10 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. (city park across from 202 Creek Street).

4Oakridge Manor Neighborhood 6:25 to 6:35 p.m. (Recreation room next to office).

4Gayosa Neighborhood Watch 7:05 to 7:25 p.m. (across the street from the church).

4B-Street Neighborhood Watch 7:35 to 7:50 p.m. (506 B-Street).

4West Stiers Neighborhood Watch 8 to 8:15 p.m. (lot on McIntyre off West Stiers Lane).

4Marilyn Heights Neighborhood Watch 8:25 to 8:40 p.m. (Marilyn Heights Community Center).

4Old Washington Road (Ruritan) 8:50 to 9:05 p.m. (West of Central School).