Northwest Columbus civic leaders, residents and Columbus safety officials will converge Tuesday, Aug. 6, for National Night Out.

The communitywide event, which seeks to build better relationships among Columbus Division of Police officers and residents, will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Atonement Lutheran Church and Preschool, 1621 Francisco Road.

For the first time, the Northwest Civic Association is organizing National Night Out, which also helps locals become aware of crime-prevention and safety measures.

Activities are free and open to the public.

Mary Ludlum, co-chairwoman of the community-services board for Atonement Lutheran Church, said she thought it would be a great opportunity to play host to such an event.

“We feel we want to be part of this neighborhood,” said Ludlum, who also is the administrator for the church’s comfort-dog ministry. “And we have this great yard.”

Among the night’s activities will be pizza, popcorn, ice cream and beverages, as well as gift cards from area merchants, a free raffle and live music.

“There has been really good participation by local businesses,” said Jean Wentzel, an NWCA member.

Police also will bring K-9 and mounted horse units to the church.

Also among the guests will be Rosie, the church’s official – and popular – comfort dog that has been on nearly 1,700 visits to schools, churches, assisted-living facilities and other venues, Ludlum said.

National Night Out officially is held Aug. 6, but activities throughout central Ohio are being held on different days throughout the week.

Donna Clopton, who moved to Columbus three years ago, is credited with getting the National Night Out event started in northwest Columbus.

Clopton organized the event for 23 years in Queens, New York, where she led efforts to bridge the gap between police and residents there.

“It helped,” she said. “They found they’re human, not RoboCop.”