National Night Out coming to Fargo-Moorhead
Law enforcement officials encouraged the public to get to know their neighbors and local authorities Aug. 7 by celebrating National Night Out. Police chiefs from Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead and Cass and Clay counties' sheriffs said participati...
Law enforcement officials encouraged the public to get to know their neighbors and local authorities Aug. 7 by celebrating National Night Out.
Police chiefs from Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead and Cass and Clay counties' sheriffs said participating in the Tuesday event helps send a message that area neighborhoods are organized and will fight back against crime.
The National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness and generate support for local anti-crime programs. This year's event is the 24th annual. NNO was started in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch, a nonprofit crime prevention organization that works in cooperation with thousands of crime watch groups and law enforcement agencies throughout the country, according to its Web site.
Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney stressed the annual event creates a strong relationship with the community, which in turn helps prevent crime.
"Otherwise we're just a response agency," Laney said.
Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist said he likes to encourage people to be nosy neighbors, saying those familiar with the area are more apt to realize if something is wrong.
He encouraged people to take advantage of National Night Out on Tuesday and use the opportunity to meet their neighbors and talk to law enforcement about problems in their community.
The public is often key to an investigation, said Fargo Police Chief Keith Ternes.
"Quite often what seems insignificant is that one piece of information that we've been waiting for," he said.
West Fargo Police Chief Arland Rasmussen agreed, saying police solve a majority of crimes with the public's help.
Rasmussen said he has often heard people say they did not want to contact authorities because it is late at night and it could be nothing.
"We like to be bothered," he said with a smile, adding that civilians' gut instincts about something seemingly wrong are often correct.
Police will be available to meet people and to take tips at parties in Fargo and West Fargo at Woodhaven and Elmwood Park, respectively.
Information about crime and drug prevention awareness will be provided at the events, and other activities will take place.
Local law enforcement will also spend Tuesday making their way to as many block parties as possible.
Moorhead Police Chief David Ebinger said the city is anticipating about 90 different block parties.
About 30 block parties are expected in Fargo, Ternes said.
If you go
- What: Party at the Park
- Where: Fargo's Woodhaven Park
- When: 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7
If you go
- What: West Fargo Block Party
- Where: West Fargo's lmwood Park
- When: 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7
For more information
- To register a block party in Fargo, contact Fargo police at (701) 461-7872 or online at www.fargopolice.com .
- To register a block party in Moorhead, contact Moorhead police at (218) 299-3533.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Brittany Lawonn at (701) 241-5541