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Crime Board: Tuesday, Aug. 4 is Night to Unite

The Cottage Grove Police Department along with the Cottage Grove Crime Prevention Board invite neighbors across Cottage Grove to join together on Tuesday, Aug. 4, for the first Night To Unite in Minnesota.

Sponsored by the Minnesota Crime Prevention Association, AAA of Minnesota/Iowa, and many local law enforcement agencies, Night To Unite will celebrate and strengthen neighborhood and community partnerships.

The event is designed to:

- Get to know one another in your neighborhood;

- Build neighborhood involvement by bringing police and communities together; and

- Bring awareness to crime prevention and local law enforcement efforts.

Why the name change?

Night To Unite will be celebrated the same as National Night Out and conveys the same message. Minnesota leaders in crime prevention conducted surveys, met with communities across the state and spoke to many people before they made a decision to change the focus from being a national effort to that of a local/state effort.

Communities across our state recognize the importance and benefits of the evening and how important it is to build relationships with our neighbors and local law enforcement. Cottage Grove agrees and we will continue to encourage local participation in this event no matter what the name is.

This year, like last, we are promoting neighborhood parties. We are encouraging people to register their party with the police department to insure a visit from either the police or fire department at their party. We will provide a box of "goodies" for each registered party as well as helium balloons. We are again promoting the "Food Donation" and "Fill the Backpack" campaigns that were so successful last year. We will provide your party with a Cub Foods box and/or a backpack. We ask that you invite your neighbors to bring donations of food and/or school supplies to fill the boxes and backpacks. We will pick them up the following morning and donate everything to the Friends in Need Food Shelf in St. Paul Park.

Night To Unite is a lot of fun. What better way to get to know your neighbors, interact with public safety, and keep our neighborhoods safe.

Register your block party

If you are interested in registering your block party for Night To Unite or have any questions, please contact Officer Gail Griffith at (651) 458-6025 or email

Remember, whether or not you attend a block party that evening, turn on your porch lights at dusk to show your support and let criminals know we are all united and will fight back against crime.

Cottage Grove Police Department Community Affairs Officer Gail Griffith serves as liasion to the Cottage Grove Crime Prevention Board.