August 2, 2005
Across the country, including here in Charlottesville, it's the night to band together in an effort to fight crime.
Albemarle County is banding together. They're turning their porch-lights on, and telling criminals they're not welcome. It's the 22nd annual "National Night Out" against crime, and as always, communities across Virginia are sending a message.
"Keep your eyes open, and look out for them," said Ann Harrod, and Glenmore resident.
It's doesn't look like a county that's under attack, after all, it's nestled around the country's greatest city to live.
"Some people suffered some vandalism, and people were coming in around the edges," added Harrod.
But, Ann Harrod noticed things happening around the county; thefts, break-ins, and a lot of suspicious people running around at all hours. Ann knew crime was getting worse in the area.
"I was always arguing for more communication among the neighbors," added Harrod."
It's no secret to Ann Harrod, or anyone else crime is starting to happen more often, so the community is setting the tone with the National Night Out.
The unique crime and drug prevention event involves citizens, law enforcement agencies, and businesses. Police are happy to see the community taking action.
"It's a great feeling, and we could not do it without the community. As you know, it is a police-community partnership, and nights like this are rewarding," said Lt. Sean Schwertfeger, of the Albemarle County Police Department.
National Night Out is held the first Tuesday in August each year nation-wide in various communities. This was Albemarle County's first year at the office building since it was recently built. Almost 500 people attended.