Benton police to participate in neighborhood safety event

The Benton Police Department is encouraging residents to participate in the annual National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

During the event, starting at 6 p.m., residents are encouraged to "lock their doors, turn on an outside light and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police," said Lt. Kevin Russell, Benton Police Department spokesperson.

"Many neighborhoods throughout Benton will be hosting a variety of special events such as block parties, cookouts, parades, visits from the police department, flashlight walks and youth activities," he said.

Neighborhoods across the county will be participate in the event to "heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anti-crime efforts, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back," he said.

The neighborhood watch program is also a good way for residents to combat crime, Russell said.
"Although National Night Out is a one-day or one-night-of-the-year event, neighbors repeatedly report that the neighbors they met that day help to build stronger neighborhoods throughout the year. The relationships enable them to stay connected to one another, and help to encourage dialogue between each other so if they see or hear activities, they inform each other," he said.

"Officers cannot be everywhere at once; therefore through the neighborhood watch program, we are able to provide more effective enforcement to our citizens."

For more information about this event or the neighborhood watch program, contact Officer David Richey at 501-776-5948.