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Neighborhoods, police prep for National Night Out events in town

National Night Out, Citrus Heights.
Residents in the Greenback Wood neighborhood gather for an outdoor ice cream social and parade for National Night Out in 2015.

Sentinel staff report–
Police and neighborhood groups across Citrus Heights are once again preparing for National Night Out, an annual crime-fighting effort held around the country on the first Tuesday in August.

Billed as “America’s night out against crime,” the effort seeks to prevent crime by connecting neighbors and building local partnerships between communities and police. National organizers say more than 16,000 communities will be involved this year, with local police reporting  that various neighborhood events are on schedule in Citrus Heights.

“This particular event is important to us because we love partnering with our community and building relationships, and also sharing crime prevention tips,” Lt. David Gutierrez told The Sentinel on Friday. He said the Citrus Heights Police Department is planning to send a “large contingent” of police officers, management and command staff to any neighborhood events planned in the city on the evening of Aug. 1, this year’s National Night Out date.

Gutierrez said there are currently 68 neighborhood watch groups in Citrus Heights, with 14 different events planned around the city on Tuesday night.

Due to concerns about safety and unsolicited vendors showing up to events, Citrus Heights police do not release locations of the various National Night Out events scheduled around town, but police said individual residents can contact the department’s neighborhood watch coordinator for information about events scheduled in their area.

Past events have included BBQ’s, potlucks, ice cream socials, and a neighborhood parade. Members of the Citrus Heights city council also typically join with police to visit the various events.

“We think [neighborhood watch groups] are incredibly important because reducing crime and community safety really is a partnership between the police department and the community,” said Lt. Gutierrez. “We definitely rely on the community to help us and be our eyes and ears when we don’t have officers in the area, so it’s important for community members to help reduce crime and take personal responsibility in their own neighborhoods.”

Those interested in forming a neighborhood watch group can find several brochures on the police department’s web page and can also contact Larissa Wasilevsky, CHPD’s watch coordinator, at 916-727-5879 or

National Night Out began in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch, and now involves over 38 million people across the United States and Canada, according to organizers.

Are you planning a National Night Out event? Post the event on The Sentinel’s Facebook page or community calendar.




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