The Westerville Division of Police and the city's numerous block watch programs will endeavor to "take back the night" on Tuesday by participating in National Night Out.

The Westerville Division of Police and the city's numerous block watch programs will endeavor to "take back the night" on Tuesday by participating in National Night Out.

From 6:30-9:30 p.m. Aug. 5, block parties will be hosted throughout the city as part of the 25th anniversary of the national event. Potluck suppers, music and visits from police officers will take place in 10 different neighborhoods throughout Westerville.

According to crime prevention specialist Carrie Ryan, National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police community partnerships, and send a message to criminals, letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Leisa Tremper, block watch coordinator in the College Crest area, said her neighborhood has participated in the event for the last six years.

"We've been doing it for years now, and last year was probably the biggest we've ever had," Tremper said. "The police department does a great job. They've had all kinds of games for the kids, and the police chief (Joe Morbitzer) comes around and visits each block party. The fire department came by last year as well when it was just steamy-hot, and opened a hydrant and allowed the kids to spray each other. They put on one heck of a program."

Ryan said that officers will rotate visits to the various block watch parties with patrol cruisers, McGruff the Crime Dog and PC the Patrol Car, along with the debut of the department's Westerville Police Bobbies, which are volunteers dressed in historic police uniforms. Several block parties will have fingerprinting for kids, cruiser rides, appearances by the department's canine unit, Big Man the inflatable police officer, karaoke, potluck dinners, face painting, prize raffles, ice cream socials, and many other activities.

Ryan said block parties are scheduled in the Springborough area; Timberbank Drive off of St Thomas Drive; 688 College Crest Road; Annehurst at 716 Granview Place East; the Annehurst Old Coach area at the 650 block of Old Coach Road; the 95 Mariemont Drive vicinity; Lakeland Estates to the corner of Marjory Court; Village Green across from 557 Village Green Loop; the Landings at 983 Landings Loop North; and College Noll at Sassafras Way.

For more details about Westerville's participation in National Night Out, contact the police department at 614-901-6490.