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Local Officials Joining National Night Out

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National Night Out
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Monique Griego joined the WJZ News Team in July 2011 as a General...
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DUNDALK, Md. (WJZ) — It’s a time when neighbors join forces to take control of their streets.  Tuesday marks the 28th anniversary of National Night Out.

Monique Griego reports one Dundalk neighborhood is just kicking off their night against crime.

Close to 200 people are expected to gather Tuesday night at Stansbury Park for a cookout against crime.  Neighbors say crime can happen anywhere, but having a strong community is a way to fight it.

Karen Cruz says while her neighborhood is safe, two years ago, a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed just a few blocks away.

“It can and does happen,” Cruz said.

For many homeowners, the murder was an eye-opener and a call to action to protect each other.

“We, as a community, struggle to look out for one another.  That’s what National Night’s about,” said Cruz.

One way they do that is by taking part in National Night Out. 

All over the country, millions of people will turn on their porch lights, throw cookouts, block parties and other events to show criminals they’re not welcome.  People are urged to come out of their homes and get to know their neighbors. 

Police say knowing who lives next door or down the street is a crucial part of keeping communities safe.

“Where you have a strong association, you have a strong reduction in crime,” said Officer Warren Fluck.

The event also aims to show support for the Baltimore County Police.  Cruz hopes this cookout will help build a bond between local officers and those they protect.

“It makes it easier for them to talk to one another,” Cruz said.

Tuesday’s event runs until 8 p.m. but the lights will stay on all night.

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