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Local first responders plan National Night Out event

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The Roswell Police Department and Roswell Fire Department invite the public to National Night Out Tuesday at the Target store parking lot, 2725 N. Main St., from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Chaves County Sheriff’s Office, Dexter Police Department and Hagerman Police Department are also planning to be part of the event. New Mexico State Police will be there, too, if their activities allow.

The local event is sponsored for a third straight year by Target and Roswell Neighborhood Watch. National Night Out began in 1984 as a way for communities across the country to build relationships among citizens and emergency responders, while also raising crime-prevention awareness and generating support for programs such as Neighborhood Watch.

Thousands of communities in all 50 states and U.S. territories, as well as in Canada, hold local events each year. Most National Night Out events are held on the first Tuesday in August, although some states hold events at other times.

RPD is planning to have one or more special police vehicles at the event for people to check out first-hand while they visit with officers. RFD will bring some of its vehicles and equipment and will set up its Kids Combat Challenge, a firefighter-themed obstacle course for youngsters. Also, an ambulance and a medical helicopter are scheduled to be there. McGruff the Crime Dog is expected to make an appearance. The event will feature live music by the Jukebox Band, a “jolly jumper” for kids and free hot dogs and drinks.

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For more information about the event or about starting a Neighborhood Watch program in a particular area, call Richard Lucero at 575-420-1369.