Mesquite, TX – October 2, 2020 – For the 2020 National Night Out activities, Mesquite is promoting programs that can be conducted year-round by residents to help foster safer neighborhoods. The new “9 P.M. Routine” joins the existing “20-4-7 Program” and “Project Porch Light” as daily activities neighborhoods across Mesquite can do together to create and cultivate more secure and caring places to live.
Maria Martinez, Director of Neighborhood Services, said, “COVID-19 has impacted our abilities to gather safely and host neighborhood events for this year’s National Night Out set for October 6. However, it has allowed us to utilize programs that empower our neighborhoods to engage one another with their combined efforts to make these streets safer.” She explained that some neighborhood groups plan to hold virtual events and residents wanting to participate can call Neighborhood Services at 972-216-6473.
National Night Out is an annual campaign held in cities across the country that promotes police and neighborhood partnerships, while bringing back a true sense of community.
The Mesquite Police Department recently launched the 9 P.M. Routine. The program urges residents to use 9 p.m. as a daily reminder to secure their vehicles and their homes, and to remove any valuables from the vehicle and to turn on outside lights around the home. Mesquite Police Chief Charles Cato shared the majority of burglary of motor vehicles in Mesquite involve a car or truck left unlocked by the owner. Cato said, “Thieves and burglars are opportunistic but if we take steps to minimize their opportunities for theft, we are far less likely to become a victim.”
Project Porch Light was started earlier this year by the Neighborhood Services Department as one way to engage neighbors, asking them to connect through conversations and shared activities. It includes reminding residents to leave their front light on to discourage suspicious behaviors in neighborhoods. Martinez said, “The illumination of entire streets by houses, helps dim the hopes of criminals looking for opportunities.”
The 20-4-7 program encourages residents to be visible in their neighborhoods for 20 minutes per day, four of the seven days of the week. Cato explained the more active residents can be, the more it helps create stronger bonds with neighbors and they tend to look out for each other.
Cato reminds residents to say something if they see unusual activity, by calling the Mesquite Police Department’s non-emergency phone number at 972-285-6336 or 911.