National Night Out, the yearly crime-prevention event observed with neighborhood block parties, takes on greater meaning in San Jose, where an understaffed police force continues to grapple with rising crime.
The event started 31 years ago by the National Association of Town Watch is co-sponsored locally by the San Jose Police Department. As many as 37 million people across the country are expected to participate, taking to the streets for BBQs, potlucks and games.
Organizers say the block parties give people a chance to know their neighbors, reducing crime and making people feel safer in their homes. Residents are encouraged to turn on outside lights, lock their doors and spend the night outside with neighbors and police.
Starting at 5pm, police officers and city officials will travel around town to stop by each registered block party.
Mayor Chuck Reed plans to visit the Playa del Rey Neighborhood Association at Playa del Rey Park (Stardust Lane and Blossom Hill), Hayes Mansion Neighborhood Association (Hayes Mansion, 200 Edenvale Ave.) and Willow Glen Town Square (Lincoln Avenue and Willow Street).
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority will offer safety information at four locations starting at 3pm today: Bascom light rail station, the Mayfair Community Center at 2039 Kammerer Ave., Seven Trees Community Center at 3590 Cas Drive and Flickinger Park.
At 5pm, the San Jose Fire Department will host its second annual National Night Out block party at Fire Station 25, 1525 Wilson Way.