University Hills residents and National Night Out organizer Esmeralda Haddad invite Jacksonville to participate in the city’s annual National Night Out 2006. This year’s NNO 2006 has been scheduled for Tuesday, August 1, Haddad said.

NNO is a community-involved event, allowing neighbors to get to know each other and become involved with community crime watch programs, according to Haddad.

“Our University Hills neighborhood has a neighborhood watch program in place — that’s how we have a map of our houses,” she said. “Some of us share home, work and cell phone numbers, which we use in case of emergencies. We also know who is alone at night and who lives alone or who has diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

“Also at NNO’s we have a great opportunity to meet newcomers in the neighborhood and get to know their children and any other important information to share in order to keep us all safe,” Haddad said.

For NNO, Haddad said, neighborhoods or businesses may sponsor a variety of social events during each gathering, such as a cook out or flashlight walk. They can also collect scholarship money for a law enforcement student, or be involved in adult/youth protection programs.

Last year, Jacksonville had more than a dozen neighborhoods that participated in block parties. Awards are given out to the “best theme,” “most attended,” “best food,” and “most creative” block parties.

“University Hills wants to challenge Jacksonville residents to get involved,” Haddad said. “Get to know your neighbors and, in the process, make Jacksonville a friendly and crime-free zone.”

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