America's annual night out without crime, National Night Out, was held earlier this year, but locally a National Night Out kickoff party is scheduled for Monday at 5pm.  It is being held at the Alton Amphitheater in Riverfront Park, and there will be music, prizes, free food and demonstrations by the police and fire departments.

National Night Out is a way to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, and to strengthen the ties between neighborhoods and local police, sending a message to criminals, according to Alton Police Public Information Officer Emily Hejna.

Hejna comments

Last year's National Night Out campaign involved citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from over 10,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.

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