Tonight’s 21st annual “National Night Out Against Crime” will include the usual pot luck dinners and block parties in communities across Iowa — along with a special message from orbit. Larry Rogers, a senior Des Moines police officer, says participants in this evening’s anti-crime events will get to hear words of encouragement from NASA astronauts.Rogers says there will be a special media feed from the International Space Station to all National Night Out participants, which he says is a first-time event. In Des Moines, events range from picnics and ice cream socials to musical entertainment to jugglers and clowns. Rogers says residents across Iowa are encouraged to leave their porch lights on as a show of solidarity against gangs and drugs. Rogers says “This is an event for neighbors and community residents to get out and get to know one another and hopefully get to know their law enforcement agencies a little bit better.” Rogers is the Des Moines Police Department’s Neighborhood Area Resources Coordinator. He says the events are designed to heighten awareness of crime and drug prevention, strengthen community spirit and to send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are fighting back.
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