SEBRING- Six communities in Highlands County will participate in "America's Night Out Against Crime" Tuesday, Aug. 6.
National Night Out Also began in 1984 as a way to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, especially neighborhood watch groups, and now involves more than 37 million people and 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.
Here in Highlands County, members of the Highlands County Sheriff's Office Command Staff will be hosting cook-outs at six locations.
On the north end Reflections on Silver Lake will start the celebrations with their cook out beginning at 5 p.m.
Tanglewood's cookout will follow at 6 p.m.
Sheriff's office personnel will make presentations, along with visits from the K-9 unit. Moving south, Veranda Breeze Apartments in Sebring will have representatives from the Masonic Lodge offering child fingerprint services along with sheriff's office and Sebring Police Department representatives cooking hot dogs and socializing with residents. A K-9 unit will also be making an appearance at this event which will also begin at 6 p.m.
In Spring Lake, members of the recently re-organized neighborhood watch group will be joining sheriff's office personnel to cook hot dogs at the community center.
In Leisure Lakes, neighbors will meet at the fire house for their cookout where there are tentative plans for entertainment, as well.
Rounding out the celebrations is Tropical Harbor in Lake Placid where residents augment the hot dog cookout with pot luck dishes. All three of these events begin at 6 p.m. and include visits from K-9 officers and their partners.
"This event has grown every year since we started over 15 years ago," said Sheriff Susan Benton, "We expect to have over 600 people interacting with our members at the six locations combined. National Night Out is designed to celebrate our crime prevention successes and strengthen these programs for the upcoming year and we always enjoy this opportunity to mingle with community members."
Originally a "lights on" campaign with symbolic front porch vigils, the celebration, set for the first Tuesday of August, has turned into block parties, cook outs and crime prevention demonstrations of all proportions, a sheriff's office news release adds.