National Night Out is a community-police awareness gathering designed to help make cities and towns safer, and a more caring place to live and work by strengthening the relationship with local neighbors and law enforcement, fire, EMS, neighborhood watch groups and others.

It has been well-received in New Bedford.

"This social provides a good opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive and fun circumstances, while bringing back a true sense of community," said New Bedford community activist John "Buddy" Andrade.

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Andrade said millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities, traditionally but not always on the first Tuesday in August.

"We all were cheering and clapping for the police, fire and first responders as they marched by us in the parade. Well, this celebration goes from the front porch and curbside to meeting them in person," he said "It makes a big impression on the younger kids, and that's very positive when forming a relationship."

This is the second year New Bedford has hosted the event.

"Hats off to Renee Ledbetter's leadership the past two years in a row, because without it, it would've been next to impossible to pull off," Andrade said.

There will be a variety of games that the kids will enjoy, K-9 police demonstrations, a helicopter and emergency vehicles will be on hand for viewing.

"There's no better way to fight crime than with community spirit," Andrade said. "National Night Out is a good time to get to know your neighbors."

New Bedford's National Night Out will be held Tuesday, August 2 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Gomes School, located at 286 South Central Street. For information about table registrations, call (508) 742-6971 or email rledbetter@northstarlc.org.

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