Partying Against Crime

<p>Cake served at National Night Out events in Sunnyside</p>

Cake served at National Night Out events in Sunnyside

Neighborhoods across the nation and in our communities are banding together tonight to fight crime.
    They're getting together for the National Night Out.
And a recent string of shootings and murders in Sunnyside aren't stopping residents from organizing events to keep their community safe.
    You wouldn't think recent shootings and murders in Sunnyside would be a reason to throw a party.
"Everyone's kinda like gangs, gangs, shootings, so yeah I think National Night Out can help everybody regroup, refocus," says Audrey Brandsma.
    But that's what they're doing in Sunnyside, organizing National Night Out block parties, making neighbors aware of crime problems, and banding together to do something about it.
"I'm not saying you can think away shootings and think away crime, but maybe if everyone starts focusing on some more positive stuff," says Brandsma.
Audrey Brandsma and others are picking up party supplies at the Sunnyside police department.
    Organizers say knowing who lives near you is one way to stop criminals in their tracks.
"Anything looks a little suspicious, you know, hey, I need to be calling somebody, something doesn't look right," she says.
    Others look at National Night Uut events as a way to get kids involved in the fight against crime, by getting to know police officers.
"Our officers are there to protect us, and help us, not to be, not for the kids to be afraid to go up to them and talk to them," says Rosalinda Alvarez.
And in a city where just two weeks ago a young man was gunned down in the evening, on a street where kids normally play, neighbors are determined to drive crime out of Sunnyside.
"This is where we live, it's our community, we want it to be a safe place, and we own it, not the crime," says Brandsma.
         If you didn't make it to a National Night Out event but are interested in forming a neighborhood block watch, there's information on your county's website.
    You'll find a link in our News Links section.