National Night out Is a Big Hit Events Help Areas Fight against Crime

Article excerpt

Byline: John Carter, Staff writer

Clara Daniel has been hosting her neighborhood's National Night Out celebration for more than a decade.

"Because it so often rains in the afternoons this time of year, we decided to move indoors this year," said the 74-year-old Daniel. "And guess what? It didn't rain!"

The Northside neighborhood cookout was moved to the cafeteria of R.V. Daniels Elementary School on West 15th Street. Featuring barbecue ribs and chicken, the event attracted more than 100 residents from the nearby neighborhoods of Grand Park and Pullman Court.

But because the 18th annual National Night Out coincided with the opening of Duval County public schools, it turned out to be quite a scheduling challenge of comings and goings.

"We finally got into the cafeteria and got the food set up, but then Sheriff [Nat] Glover showed up early to give his speech, so it was just in the nick of time," Daniel said.

Glover and several officers from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office attended the celebration, which is designed to generate solidarity within the city's anti-crime Neighborhood Watch programs.

National Night Out programs were held at 57 sites throughout Jacksonville. The celebrations included barbecues, block parties, fish fries and other activities designed to heighten crime awareness, generate support for Neighborhood Watch programs and strengthen police/community partnerships.

Besides the cookout at R.V. Daniels Elementary School, other area celebrations included a street party on West First Street, also attended by Glover, a block party on West 20th Street, a neighborhood dinner party on Hyde Grove Avenue and casual get-togethers on Rowe Avenue and West 25th Street. …

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