27th National Night Out raises crime prevention awareness - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/3/10

27th National Night Out raises crime prevention awareness

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By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Nearly 15,000 communities across the country including Lubbock took part in the 27th annual National Night Out. It is an evening dedicated to raising awareness and fighting crime.

"There has been a great showing. A lot of concerned citizens out there that want to help us help them reduce crime in there are," said Lubbock Sheriff Kelly Rowe. More than a dozen organizations including DPS, Lubbock County Sheriff's Office, Wolfforth Fire Department and Police joined forces to raise awareness about stopping crime.

"We do want to build a rapport with the community and let them know we are public servants out here in a team effort to prevent crime," said Officer Jackie De La Garza with the Wolfforth Police Department. Wolfforth resident Rosemary Ibarra came out to learn more about what she can do to get involved in keeping her community safe. "I think it is great our community police are out here getting to know us," she said. Ibarra took information away and is thinking about starting a community watch program on her street.

Organizations passed out information on neighborhood watch programs, car theft prevention, 911 calls and gave away gun locks. The sheriff's office passed out child identification kits which you keep at home. They come with a form and an ink less fingerprint kit and a DNA swab. If something were to happen to your child all you have to do is pass your child's information to law enforcement. The kits are free and can be picked up at the sheriff's office.

Project Lifesaver, sponsored by Pilot Club of Lubbock, used the night out as a training exercise. Organizers told deputies a small child was missing in Patterson Park in Wolfforth. Using coordinates, radio signals and a tracking device placed on Trooper Bud, a DPS robot who played the role of the missing kid, deputies found Bud in a few minutes. Project Lifesaver has located more than 2,000 people across the world in the last 10 years with a 100 percent success rate. 

"Individuals that might have maybe Alzheimer's, dementia, Autism or any kind of illness that might cause them to have a tendency to wander away," said Becky Hudson, project coordinator with the Pilot Club of Lubbock.

The message from law enforcement, keep your eyes and ears open for things that seem out of place. "They can be the difference in us solving a crime or it going unsolved for lengthy period of time," said Sheriff Rowe about the community's help. 

Organizers hope Lubbock's night out helps residents and officers take a bite out of crime.

Your local law enforcement agency or the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office has information on how you can start a neighborhood watch program. If you think you may have a family member who meets the qualifications for Project Lifesaver you can contact Pilot Club of Lubbock or the sheriff's office. There is an annual fee of $300 for the bracelet.

Lubbock United Neighborhood Association also hosted an event at Safety City in Clapp Park.

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