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Willmar, Minn., Police Dept. asks neighborhoods to plan ahead for Aug. 2 National Night Out

WILLMAR -- Willmar police officials are urging neighborhoods to make their plans now for National Night Out on Aug. 2.

The Police Department will not conduct a large, city-wide event this year, instead the department is trying to get back to the neighborhood-focused purpose of the night out.

Neighborhoods can contact the Police Department, Officer Marilee Dorn at 214-6700 ext. 3209 or, to arrange visits from law enforcement, fire or emergency medical units. The visits are limited and on a first-contact, first-confirmed basis.

The formal purpose of National Night Out is to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime efforts and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.

The informal purpose is to get to know your neighbors. The minimum asked of participants is that they spend the evening outdoors visiting with neighbors or just being outside and visible on the porch or yard. Some neighborhoods have potluck suppers, reserve a park or use the time to work on a safety problem.

This year, Willmar Care Center is hosting a gathering for neighbors who live in the central North Side, at North Side Park.