Get to know your neighbors, deputies

Published 12:07 am Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hopefully, you never need to call a sheriff’s deputy more than once a year.

But that yearly call can go a long way to making you and your neighbors safer.

We urge you to invite the sheriff, deputies, your neighbors and anyone else you’d like to a block party or a country cookout in your area. Any weekend will do, but Tuesday, Oct. 1 is National Neighborhood Watch National Night Out for Adams County.

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Because it’s always good to know who your neighbors are, National Night Out is a time when residents are encouraged to get together with those who live near them. The more familiar you are with those around you, the better you’ll be able to look after each other. It’s always a nice feeling knowing someone will be watching your house when you’re gone, for example.

It’s also good time to meet law enforcement and maybe even your county supervisor and other Adams County officials.

Sheriff’s deputies can give you tips on how to make your neighborhoods safer, and county officials can keep you up to date on where the county is headed, new policies and programs and other topics of community interest.

A nice thing about these block parties and neighborhood country cookouts is they can be as big as you like and as elaborate as you care to make them. A traditional barbecue of burgers, hot dogs and such is popular, but that’s up to you. Have some vegetarian options on hand, too.

Another nice thing is if you need some motivation or help in getting the party started, it’s as close as the Adams County Sheriff’s Office (306 State St.), where a free planning kit is available. You also can check out and search for “block party how-to guide” under press releases. We’d suggest you get going today, because time is flying.

From that kit, here are the top 10 reasons to have a block party:

1. To have fun — no excuse or reason needed to celebrate.

2. To meet your neighbors. The more you know who belongs to the neighborhood, the more likely you are to identify strangers or suspicious people.

3. To increase the sense of belonging in your neighborhood.

4. To organize a county-sponsored group such as a Neighborhood Watch group.

5. To make connections within the community. When you know people, you can exchange skills or resources, organize a book club, start a babysitting co-op or share carpooling duties, to name a few.

6. To plan a campaign for traffic slowdown, to get better lighting or address other interests.

7. To “use” the street for one day to roller blade, play hockey or set up a kids jump house.

8. To meet residents who have lived in the neighborhood a long time to learn about its history.

9. To have a neighborhood clean-up day, play some good music and barbecue when all of the work is done.

10. To start a neighborhood tradition of getting together at least once a year.

So let the planning start. Contact your neighbors as soon as possible and plan a get-together for Oct. 1 or for this weekend. The better you know each other, the more tight-knit your neighborhood will become.

Just ask the sheriff’s office to join the party.


Courtney Taylor is the public information officer for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office. She can be reached at 601-442-2752.