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Local police get ready for National Night Out

Local police officers will be attending more than 120 parties across the metro area on Aug. 5, but they won't be looking to bust anyone. The officers from West Fargo, Fargo, Moorhead and Dilworth will be participating in the annual National Night...

Local police officers will be attending more than 120 parties across the metro area on Aug. 5, but they won't be looking to bust anyone.

The officers from West Fargo, Fargo, Moorhead and Dilworth will be participating in the annual National Night Out campaign designed to improve relationships with local residents.

More than 10,000 communities nationwide will participate, and officers will use the time to increase drug and crime prevention and awareness and strengthen police-resident partnerships. Last year, more than 35 million people participated.

West Fargo will host one of the area's largest events at Elmwood Park. Community members can partake in the program from 5 to 9 p.m. and enjoy various demonstrations, including helicopter tours, motorcycle rides, a climbing wall and more than 40 community service booths.

West Fargo has participated in the National Night Out campaign for 14 years, and police expect up to 3,000 people to attend this year.

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West Fargo Police Chief Arland Rasmussen said the event is an opportunity for residents to visit with law enforcement informally. "When we go to an incident, we often don't have time to visit with the residents," Rasmussen said.

Fargo Police Chief Keith Ternes said the evening gives residents a chance to positively interact with officers.

Fargo police already hosted a community picnic on June 24, but officers will also attend up to 40 neighborhood block parties around the city.

Dilworth Police Chief Dave Miller said the city has not had anyone register for a block party yet, but they have had several already this summer.

Moorhead officers will attend about 85 block parties, Deputy Chief Bob Larson said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Michelle Rydell at (701) 235-7311

If you go

- What: National Night Out

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- When: Aug. 5

- Where: Elmwood Park in West Fargo

- Info: www.nationalnightout.org

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