Fontana celebrated the 36th annual National Night Out, along with many other communities nationwide, on Aug. 6.

National Night Out promotes Neighborhood Watch, strengthen police-community partnerships, and celebrates the building of a safer, more caring community. The event is designed to heighten crime prevention awareness and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Fontana’s event, which drew a large crowd at Miller Park, had a goal of providing an evening of unity by offering resources in spreading awareness of the fight against crime.

There were many static displays from various units within the Fontana Police Department, San Bernardino County Fire Department, and American Medical Response, along with several other vendors. Free food was provided to the attendees.

----- U.S. REPRESENTATIVES Norma J. Torres (CA-35) and John Rutherford (FL-04) introduced H.Res. 535, a bipartisan resolution to recognize Aug. 6 as National Night Out.

“In light of the horrific tragedies in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, now more than ever, police and communities must come together in a show of solidarity. As a former Neighborhood Watch Block captain, I know that’s what makes National Night Out such an important event,” said Torres, whose district includes much of Fontana. “We can’t control when tragedy strikes, but we can encourage cooperation between law enforcement and the communities they serve to develop an escape plan no matter where they’re going -- whether it’s a church, concert, theater, or local shopping mall -- to keep everyone safe year-round.”

In addition to getting to know their local law enforcement officers and taking part in their own Neighborhood Watch groups, constituents are encouraged to consider the following helpful tips to help prevent crime and promote safer neighborhoods:

• Lighting is one of the most important crime deterrents. Consider installing lights on a timer to give would-be thieves the impression that people are home.

• Follow your instincts. If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If the person continues to follow you, move quickly toward an open store, restaurant, lit house, or more populated area.

• Make sure your family, especially children, know when and how to dial 9-1-1.

• Help your child memorize their own address and phone number.

• Look up your local police and emergency services departments and keep important phone numbers in an easily accessible location.

• Only use 9-1-1 in cases of emergency. Direct non-emergency calls to the appropriate non-emergency number in your community to help keep 9-1-1 lines open for true emergencies and life-threatening situations.

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