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Coming together to fight crime

With recent events, Rosemount residents may feel a bit shaken. But one way to combat crime is to stand together as neighbors.

Aug. 3 brings an opportunity to do just that.

Sponsored by the Minnesota Crime Prevention Association and the Rosemount Police department Night to Unite encourages residents to lock their doors, turn on a porch light and spend the evening with neighbors.

This year's event will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., There is no central event in Rosemount. police officer Beth Richtsmeier said they encourage neighborhoods throughout the city to plan their own parties.

"It has proven to be an effective, inexpensive and enjoyable event," said Richtsmeier.

Formerly known as National Night Out the event changed its moniker last year. Richtsmeier said events can be as simple as setting out lawn chairs and lemonade or extravagant, including jumpers and barbeques.

"The connections that are made and strengthened through Night to Unite carry far beyond this evening," said Richtsmeier.

Richtsmeier said close-knit neighborhoods are usually safe neighborhoods. She added that having an event is the perfect way to establish a good connection with neighbors.

Police officers, firefighters and city representatives will go from party to party sharing information as well. Richtsmeier said they will answer questions and show off their vehicles, which is usually exciting for the kids.

As with previous years Richtsmeier said police also will collect items for the Rosemount Family Resource Center food shelf. She said they will accept non-perishable food items such as tuna, crackers, macaroni and cheese, rice, instant potatoes, jelly, Kool-aid, Pop Tarts, soups, Spaghetti-Os, syrup, pancake mix, Hamburger Helper, diapers and toiletries.

Richtsmeier said the food shelf is in need and it's a good way to support people in Rosemount.

"More than 500 people a month use the food shelf," she said.

In addition to the annual event Richtsmeier also encourages residents to start Neighborhood Watch groups and to meet throughout the year. Neighborhood Watch is an ongoing crime prevention program that encourages neighbors to look out for each other and to report suspicious activity to the police.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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