Tomorrow night, the Baltimore County Police Department and many civic groups will celebrate the 20th anniversary of National Night Out, the nationwide program designed to raise crime and drug prevention awareness.
The celebration will include various activities throughout the county's neighborhoods, parks and police precincts, many of which will be held by local chapters of crime watch groups such as Citizens On Patrol, or COP.
National Night Out encourages the community to turn on porch lights, go outside and visit neighbors. According to Baltimore County police spokesman Bill Toohey, this lets criminals know that the neighborhoods are organized while at the same time raises community spirits.
"These events are important because they bring the people together at both the community level and the county level," Toohey said.
Below is a partial list of some of the planned activities by police precinct:
* Wilkens - Block parties will be held in the Kensington, Broadfield and Riverview communities.
* Woodlawn - Deerfield Manor will hold several block parties starting at 7 p.m., and Edmondson Heights will hold a march through the neighborhood at 7 p.m., beginning at Barrett Road and ending at Sunset Avenue.
* Garrison - Community walks will be held by the Chartley COP at 7 p.m. and by the Valleybrook COP at 6:30 p.m.
* Towson - The local COP will hold its third annual rally at Uncle Wiggly's Ice Cream and Coffee Cafe on York Road at 7 p.m. The event will include a self-defense mini-class, a display of equipment and the police dog unit, and a ceremony honoring Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan.
* Cockeysville - The Lutherville Community Association's Residential Security Program will patrol neighborhood streets.
* Parkville/White Marsh - Local COP groups will walk in a National Night Out parade, which will start at Linover Park and go through the Rosedale community from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
* Essex - Neighborhood walks will take place around Essex: 8 p.m. at 754 Arncliffe Road in Middlesex; 8 p.m. at Essex Elementary School; and 7:30 p.m. at Martin Boulevard Elementary School. The Bay Area COP will have a neighborhood parade at 8 p.m.