East Providence Community Police unit readies fourth annual National Night Out event

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EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence Police Department's Community Police Division prepares for its fourth annual "National Night Out" event set for Tuesday, Aug. 6, on the grounds of the Senior Center located off Waterman Avenue.

The 2013 edition is the second to be held at the Senior Center, following two years of the event taking place at Riverside's Larisa Park.

"This is our second year here and we really want to get the word out," said Sergeant John Andrews in front of the E.P. Community Policing Division headquarters located at the Sweetland House on the Senior Center property.

"The first couple of years in Riverside we had 350, 400 people show up," Sgt. Andrews continued. "Last year we had about half that. We want people to know about it and come out for a really nice event."

Across the country, the "Night Out" is celebrating its 30th year. "National Night Out is a community-police awareness-raising event held the first Tuesday of August. The "National Night Out" has been held annually since 1984 and is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch in the United States and Canada.

The event is meant to increase awareness about police programs in communities, such as drug prevention, town watch, neighborhood watch, child identification and other anti-crime efforts.

Target Department Store is the national  sponsor of the event and locally as well along with the East Providence Citizens Police Academy alumni.

In city Tuesday activities include music, bouncy houses and other games for kids, a karate demonstration, antique cars, police and fire vehicles, giveaways from local businesses, free raffles and prizes, food and beverages, face painting and removable tattoos, child car seat inspections, ice cream provided by Monroe Dairy and electronic fingerprinting and identification by New York Life.

"It's a celebration of crime watches and citizen police academies throughout the country. It's completely free. We encourage everyone to come by and join in the celebration," said Sgt. Andrews.

The East Providence Community Police version of "National Night Out" is totally free and open to the public. It runs from 5 to 8 p.m.

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