It takes a unified effort to fight crime. Part of that is by getting to know your neighbors. Talking to your neighbors about things that happen where you live can lead to tips for police.

It takes a unified effort to fight crime. Part of that is by getting to know your neighbors. Talking to your neighbors about things that happen where you live can lead to tips for police.
On Thursday, residents can get to know their neighbors thanks to an Independence citywide event.
The Independence Police and Parks and Recreation departments are co-sponsoring the inaugural event, which is free, to increase citizen awareness of crime prevention.
The city will simultaneously host a series of block parties to be held at city parks in each of the four city council districts.
Each party will be from 6 to 9 p.m.
District 1 will be at McCoy Park, 800 N. Bess Truman Parkway. District 2 will be at the Independence Athletic Complex, 17800 E. Salisbury Road. District 3 will be held at Waterfall Park, 4501 S. Bass Pro Drive, and District 4 will be at Rotary Park, 10615 E. 24th St. South.
The parties are not officially part of the National Night Out Against Crime that will be on Aug. 4. The National Night Out stresses “turn on porch lights and turn off crime.”
The block parties are “sort of a precursor or warmup” to Aug. 4 to make people aware of the event, according to Independence police crime prevention officer Rob Romey.
Each party will include food, games and demonstrations from the various units of the police department. For example, The department’s four K-9 units will be at the event. One unit will be at each district’s event.
“We’re trying to keep this as a sort of get to know your neighbors event,” Romey said.
Also, people can learn about the functions of the police and fire departments. Officers from both departments will be on hand. Fire trucks will be there as well.
Romey said the Parks and Recreation Department has been doing a lot of preparation for the event.
“I’m really appreciative of all the hard work a lot of people have put in this,” Romey said. “What my goal is to use this as kind of a basis to where we can jump-start having an annual event where it will get larger and larger and larger.”
The event has been well-publicized. The city has sent out about 13,000 flyers announcing the event. An article was in the City Scene, Independence’s monthly newsletter, it got a mention on Channel 7 and has been publicized several times in The Examiner.
The four parties will be run by volunteers mostly from the many block watch groups in Independence, the people who keep track of the crime in their areas.
The city has supplied the food, venue and entertainment.