Working together tonight for a safer community tomorrow — that mission has hundreds of people coming together at Rock Valley College for National Night Out.
Rockford has seen more than 1,100 violent crimes. That's down from this same time last year — but for many people, it's a number that's still too high. And National Night Out in Rockford is all about working together to prevent crime.
"The community needs to be involved. The way we're going to solve crime and reduce the crime rate is with community involvement," said Sgt. Douglas Clinite, Rockford Police.
The annual campaign focuses on teamwork. Tonight, Rock Valley College and Rockford Police work together to promote partnerships between the police and the public.
The event takes 5 to 9 p.m. in Parking Lot 2 on Rock Valley College's main campus, 3301 North Mulford Road, with some additional attractions located in the Physical Education Center.
National Night Out is intended to promote public and police partnerships, crime prevention and community camaraderie. The event will include:
— Self-defense and safety tips
— K9 and mobile field force demonstrations
— Vehicles on display, including police and military vehicles, fire trucks and the Rockford Police Command Center
— REACT helicopter on campus from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
— Photo spot where kids can have a picture taken with or in a squad car
— Community vendors
— Games, music, giveaways and free food
National Night Out is free and open to anyone in the community.
Rockford is not the only place in our area celebrating National Night Out. The event will take place in towns including:
— Machesney Park, from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight on the southeast corner of the IL-251/IL-173 intersection. Should you have any questions, contact Penny Olson at Village Hall at 815-877-5432.
— Roscoe, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Life Church located at 5910 Elevator Road.
— Janesville, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the corner of Wall and Jackson streets
— Beloit, Belvidere, DeKalb and Dixon