Communities across Iowa are holding ice cream socials and pot luck dinners tonight as part of the 25th annual Night Out Against Crime. Cedar Rapids Police Sergeant Cristy Hamblin says residents everywhere are urged to leave the porch lights on, get outside and get to know the folks living next door.
"We’re such a fast-moving community that we don’t have time to be neighborly and this is one night of the year we want you to be," Hamblin says. "We want everybody to go outside their house, sit around and talk to their neighbors. You may’ve lived next door to someone for a year, two years, three years, and you don’t even know their names." She says it’s important for neighbors to connect with one another.
Hamblin says it can be a simple gesture, like sitting on lawn chairs in the driveway to talk with neighbors, while some communities are holding organized events like root beer float socials. With the severe flooding Cedar Rapids endured during June which did widespread damage, Hamblin says tonight’s "Night Out" event is more of a celebration.
"We weathered the storm with amazing success," Hamblin says, crediting residents, law officers, firefighters, churches, everyone who pitched in during the city’s terrible time of need.