Milpitas Police Department invites residents to celebrate National Night Out this year by hosting or attending neighborhood parties on Aug. 6.

Called "America's Night Out Against Crime," the annual National Night Out event asks neighborhoods across the country to take a stand against crime and drugs.

"National Night Out is a day where the community gets together to partner with the police department to combat crime," Milpitas police Sgt. Daryl Sequeira said.

The 26th annual National Night Out is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and locally co-sponsored by the Milpitas Police Department. More than 15,449 communities and 37 million people are expected to participate in National Night Out activities across North America.

Over the past nine years, Milpitas residents have used National Night Out as a tool to initiate local Neighborhood Watch groups or get reacquainted with their neighbors. Most gatherings are neighborhood potluck dinners or ice cream socials.

In Milpitas, Sequeira said police and city officials will visit the more than 25 parties planned, handing out crime prevention literature that informs residents about recognizing gang activity and improving Internet safety. Police stickers and police car tours are a favorite for the children attending the events. He added officers will also advocate more community involvement in neighborhood safety.

"We try to preach the Neighborhood Watch Program," he said.

Sequeira said


McGruff the Crime Dog will also visit many parties during the event.

Last year, Milpitas' National Night Out featured 30 parties and more than 1,280 participants.

Milpitas residents interested in hosting a National Night Out neighborhood party may contact Officer Kevin Jackson at 586-2528 or Officer Gene Smith at 586-2526 at Milpitas Police Department's Community Relations Unit.