Many residents of Carroll County are expected to join more than 25 million people from 8,500 communities in all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canada and military bases around the world tonight for the 10th annual "National Night Out."
National Night Out is intended to heighten awareness of crime- and drug-prevention and generate support and participation for local anti-crime efforts.
Organizers also hope it will strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community relations, sending a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Beginning at 7 p.m., residents in neighborhoods throughout Carroll County are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outdoors with neighbors and police.
"This event is an ideal opportunity for citizens and law enforcement officers to get together in a positive atmosphere," National Project Coordinator Matt Peskin said in a statement released by the state police.
"We encourage people to come out in force and show the criminals that there are more of us than them."
Mr. Peskin said in the statement, "Everyone loves a party -- and since 99 percent of us are against crime, the theme 'Give Neighborhood Crime a Going-Away Party' seems to be a good theme."
Carroll has more than 100 communities in its Neighborhood Watch Program and is seeking more. For vacationers, the program can mean a neighbor watches over their property when they are away.
Those interested in participating should contact local police or the Maryland State Police Crime Prevention Unit at 876-8956.