MIAMI (CBS4) — Residents across South Florida took over the streets Tuesday night for the 31st Annual National Night Out.

The program is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for local anti-crime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

“We bring education. We bring components so that people are aware that they must be united within the community to say no to crime,” said Olidia Hernandez of the Miami Police Department. “We as a department can not do the work alone. We need to have their support. We need to have their information for us to be able to create safe neighborhoods.”

Last year’s National Night Out campaign involved citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from over 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. In all, over 37.8 million people participated in National Night Out 2013.

Homeowners were encouraged to leave on their front lights as a sign of support.

In South Florida, police agencies from Key West to Deerfield Beach are participating in the National Night Out Against Crime.

The City of Miami has organized a large event called “Miami’s Stand Against Crime.” It takes place at Bayfront Park, located at 301 N. Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Dorothy Jackson brought her 13 grandkids to Bayfront Park to teach them about staying safe and respecting the authorities. She believes initiatives like this can help shatter the negative stigma often associated with police.

The City of Doral will hold their National Night Out event at the Government Center. It begins at 6:30 p.m. and includes free food, family entertainment and presentations.

Miami Gardens’ National Night Out event will be held at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreation Complex at 3000 NW 199th Street from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The events make  officers accessible to the people they protect and inspires youth to get involved.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a number of events:

Cooper City
From 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. join Cooper City BSO personnel at 10580 Stirling Rd. Residents will have the opportunity to tour fire rescue. Please contact BSO’s Cooper City Crime Prevention Unit at (954) 432-9000 for further details.

Dania Beach
Join Broward Sheriff’s Office district personnel from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. for America’s night out against crime. All the activities take place at Patrick J. Meli Park at 2901 S.W. 52 St.

Deerfield Beach
From 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. residents will enjoy music and refreshments at Pavilion 10 at Quiet Waters Park at 401 S. Powerline Rd.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at El Prado Park at 4500 El Mar Dr. Refreshments will be available.

North Lauderdale
Join North Lauderdale BSO district personnel from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Municipal Complex at 701 S.W. 71 Ave.

All activities will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Parkland Commons/Publix Shopping Center located at 8095 University Dr.

Pembroke Park/West Park
Starting at 6:00 p.m. enjoy an evening of fun, games, prizes, free food and beverages at the Pembroke Park/West Park district office at 3201 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd.

Pompano Beach
Residents can meet with Sheriff’s personnel at their National Night Out event from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Pompano Beach City Hall at 100 W. Atlantic Blvd.

Starting at 6 p.m. Tamarac BSO district personnel and residents will take a stand against crime. Various demonstrations are planned along with refreshments. The event will be held at 7515 N Pine Island Road.

For Night Out events in you area, check with you local police department.



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