Tuesday to be a Big Night for Neighborhoods

August 01, 2011

August 2 is National Night Out, a program aimed at promoting neighborhood spirit and safer communities.

Now in its 28th year, more than 37 million people in over 15,000 communities across North America participate in National Night Out, an event that draws attention to public safety issues and strengthens partnerships between law enforcement and community residents.

firemen battled a fire

Firemen battle a fire during last year's hugely successful National Night Out event in Berwyn.

Last year, the city of Berwyn produced the top-ranking National Night Out event in the state of Illinois and the 10th best in the nation. The night saw more than 7,000 Cook County residents who came together in an effort to reduce crime, violence and drugs in the area.

This year’s event will take place at Morton West High School, 2400 Home Avenue, Berwyn, and will feature law enforcement in attendance from Berwyn as well as from Bellwood, Brookfield Zoo, Cicero, Cook County, Harwood Heights, LaGrange, Lemont, McCook, North Riverside, Oak Park, Stickney, and Westchester.

Here are some of the things you will find at the 2011 National Night Out in Berwyn:

*There will be demonstrations from the U.S. Marshals Service, the country’s oldest federal law enforcement agency, and the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force on tactical breaching equipment and a tactical weapons system.

*There will interactive exhibits from military and veterans groups representing the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Marine Corps, including a “Humvee” vehicle, dog-tag machines, a climbing wall, a chin-up bar and a miniature jet plane.

*The Cook County Bomb Squad and Emergency Service Disaster Agency will provide exhibits.

*There will be interactive fire-safety demonstrations including a “live burn” being extinguished and a fire extinguisher safety presentation.

*Look for the Illinois Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) processing display.

*A Bike Rodeo will give the first 400 participants a free helmet.

*There will be a display of antique police cars.

*You’ll have a chance to meet Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero.

*The cast of the Chicago-based reality TV series “Wrecked” – Life in the Crash Lane will be on hand.

*Julia Rose Melone, who won America’s Got Talent Chicago, will sing the national anthem, and there will be music from the group Heartless.

*A Kid’s Zone will offer children’s games, air slides and baseball radar speed pitching.

*The Chicago Fire will provide an interactive soccer show.

*There will be lots of food and free raffle giveaways.

*A fireworks grand finale will end the celebration.

Gates open at 5 p.m., and the fireworks display is scheduled to go off around 9 p.m. For more information, visit or call (708) 788-8100.

Nowhere near Berwyn? Check your local community to see if its residents are participating in National Night Out. For more information on the program and what you can to do get involved, visit

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