by DANIEL BEEKMAN
Tired of drugs and crime? Proud of your community? Looking for fun? If so, then head to National Night Out – America’s Night Out Against Crime. The Bronx will host 14 events on Tuesday, August 4. National Night Out is a drugs and crime prevention initiative designed to strengthen community spirit and community-police partnerships. More than 37 million people – residents, police, civic groups, businesses, elected officials – participated in 2008.
“The theme of National Night Out is saying, ‘We aren’t going to tolerate crime,’” said Joe Thompson of the 49th Precinct Community Council.
Thompson expects 4,000 people to attend the 49th Precinct event, on the Great Lawn of Pelham Parkway North between Wallace and Barnes avenues, 6 to 9 p.m. National Night Out events feature outdoor lights, cookouts and parades. Civilian patrols, civic groups and boy scouts will be on hand for the 49th Precinct event, Thompson said. There will be rides for kids and information for adults.
Joe Bombace of the 49th Precinct Community Council is a fan of National Night Out. The events allow residents and police to build a healthy rapport. 49th Precinct Captain John Greeley will speak with residents on Tuesday, as will Special Operations Lt. Steve Russo. August 4 will mark Greeley’s one-year anniversary with the 49th. He is doing a bang-job with help from residents, Bombace said.
The 45th Precinct event will take place in Co-op City at Greenway Number Two, 6 to 9 p.m. Co-op City hosted in 2008 as well; the Riverbay Corporation donates a stage, manpower and parking. The 45th often hands out hot dogs and popcorn.
The 52nd Precinct Community Council will give away a pair of bicycles and other donated gifts. National Night Out is a chance for the 52nd to reach more Northwest Bronx residents; 40 people attend its regular monthly meetings.
Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will visit the 45th, 47th and 52nd Precinct events.
“I encourage everyone to attend,” Diaz Jr. said. “It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors and meet officials from your local police precinct.”
The 40th Precinct event will take place at St. Mary’s Park on E. 149th Street, 2 to 7 p.m., the 41st Precinct at the Police Athletic League at 991 Longwood Avenue, 4 to 8:30 p.m., the 43rd Precinct event at Hugh Grant Circle in Parkchester, 2 to 6 p.m., the 44th Precinct event on E. 169th Street between Jerome and Walton avenues, 3 to 8 p.m.
The 46th Precinct event will take place at Tiebout Avenue between E. 182nd and E. 183rd streets and Ryer Avenue between E. 183rd and E. 184th streets, 4 to 9 p.m., the 47th Precinct on Grenada Place between Laconia and Ely avenues, 5 to 9 p.m., the 48th Precinct on 912 E. 178th Street, 5 to 9 p.m., the 50th Precinct on Marble Hill Avenue between W. 228th and W. 230th streets, 6 to 9 p.m. P.S.A. 7 will host an event at the Moore Houses on Jackson Avenue, 6 to 8 p.m. and P.S.A. 8 at the Castle Hill Houses on Randall Avenue, 4 to 8 p.m.