Community

Night Out Against Crime comes to Arlington neighborhoods Aug. 5

Arlington Public Safety Director Bruce Stedman previews the
Arlington Public Safety Director Bruce Stedman previews the 'All-In Campaign' for the city's Crime Prevention League that will debut Aug. 5.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — With Arlington's National Night Out Against Crime coming up on Tuesday, Aug. 5, from 5-8 p.m., city Public Safety Director Bruce Stedman gave the City Council a preview July 28 of the "All-In Campaign" that he'll be presenting.

Stedman explained that, rather than the city coordinating the Night Out, seven neighborhoods will be conducting their own barbecues and block parties for the annual event, which city officials will visit.

In addition to Stedman, citizens can expect to see Mayor Barbara Tolbert, Assistant City Administrator Kristin Banfield, Public Works Director Jim Kelly, Community and Economic Development Director Paul Ellis and members of the City Council, police and fire departments.

"We'll be talking crime prevention, handing out stickers and having people take 'All-In' pledges," said Stedman, who noted that officials would probably only be able to devote 20 minutes to each neighborhood to hit all of the locations.

During the council's workshop, Stedman described the Crime Prevention League as "a program that could be a model for the nation," by involving the council, police, city employees and committees, citizens and businesses as five prongs to respond to crime.

"I've seen how this community has responded to the Relay For Life and the Oso slide, so I know we can do this," Stedman said. "For someone like me, who came from Los Angeles, that level of community response is impressive."

Stedman credited the council with already supplying the legislative tools to deal with illegal camping and aggressive panhandling. Although he acknowledged that a proposed law for tobacco-free parks would be difficult to enforce, he touted the measure as a means for police to make contact with those who might be engaging in other illegal activities.

Stedman asserted the ability of data-driven policing to target the hot spots of when and where crime is most active, and listed the Pro-Act Team and a new police substation in Smokey Point as resources that the police could use to increase their responsiveness. He also plans to trade out the school resource officer and foster stronger partnerships between the police and social service organizations, including Volunteers of America and Cocoon House.

Stedman called upon the city's employees, citizens and businesses to take a more active role in reporting suspicious activity, both to police and each other, through neighborhood and business watch programs. To facilitate those discussions, community crime prevention meetings are set for 7-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 6, at the Stillaguamish Senior Center, and on Thursday, Aug. 7, at Haller Middle School.

"This is an inclusive program that will take everybody being 'All-In,'" Stedman said. "It'll work as long as everyone does their own small part."

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