Though the official 20th National Night Out is Tuesday, Prince William law enforcement agencies will celebrate early with weekend events throughout the county.
To commemorate the event, which is designed to send a message to criminals that citizens are watching, the police department will run a motorcade through area neighborhoods, go on foot patrols with community residents and collect used cellular phones to distribute to neighborhood watch groups and victims of domestic violence.
In a recent press, release the Prince William police asked that all county residents turn on their porch lights Tuesday evening to show that they care about their neighborhoods, to heighten crime- and drug-prevention awareness and to strengthen neighborhood spirit.
Police estimate that 33 million people worldwide participated in the event last year, the release said.
On Saturday, McGruff the Crime Dog will leave from the Gar-Field substation at 4:05 p.m. and lead the motorcade to several community block parties.
The motorcade’s first stop will be in River Ridge.
From there, officers will pay 20-minute visits to residents on Chalet Court, Flint Hill Place, Mount Burnside Way, Hickory Knoll and Lake Ridge Crossing.
A simultaneous motorcade for the western end of the county will begin at 4 p.m. at the Western District Station off Lee Avenue and proceed to the Braemar Community, the Sayebrooke Community, the Country Scene Neighborhood Watch, the Jamaica Lane Neighborhood Watch, Sudley Place Town Home Neighborhood Watch, Westgate Apartment Watch, Irongate Neighborhood Watch, Sunnybrook Neighborhood Watch, Yorkshire Village Neighborhood Watch, Arrowood Neighborhood Watch and finish at Hamlets Neighborhood Watch at 8:35 p.m.
McGruff will hit the streets again Sunday when he starts his patrol at 4:15 p.m. and visits Quantico and then goes on to Dumfries en route to Georgetown Village.
McGruff’s subsequent stops will include 20-minute visits at Heather Glen Court, Greenwich Hills to conclude in Marumsco Village, Burleigh and Dunbar lanes.
The Prince William Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit will collect cell phones at the Potomac Cannons games through Aug. 8.
For additional information in western Prince William County call (703) 792-4676. For information about activities on the eastern side of the county, call (703) 792-7270.
Staff writer Keith Walker can be reached at (703) 878-8063.