At least four Camden neighborhoods will host free public events Tuesday evening to mark the 30th anniversary of the grassroots anti-crime initiative known as National Night Out.
"Crime is less likely to happen if neighboroods come together and ... [residents] make their presence known," says Monica Flores, a mother of three who lives in the city's Morgan Village section. "I want children to be able to go back to the days when they could play dodge ball and double-dutch in the streets."
Flores volunteers with one of the city's District Council Collaborative Boards (DCCB), which work to build relationships between citizens and police. DCCB is sponsoring Tuesday's events in Whitman Park, Waterfront South and East Camden; the festivities will include a block party and a skating party. DCCB works with the Camden County Police and other law enforcement agencies.
In North Camden, the Hopeworks organization will draw attention to the need for better street lighting citywide during an event at the Esperanza Community Center. "Hopeworks youth have been focusing all summer on making their Camden community a safer place...by working to get all of the broken streetlights turned on in the city through their “Turn the Lights Back on in Camden” mission," organizers said.
The National Night Out (NN)) is an opportunity for people across the city "to have some fun while...doing [their] part to make Camden a safer place," DCCB's Angel Osorio says.