The police departments of both Chandler and
Tempe are asking their cities’ residents to
get off the back porches and onto the front
porches—at least for one day next month.
As part of the Getting Arizona Involved in
Neighborhoods (GAIN) event in which most
Valley municipalities are participating,
both cities are encouraging their residents
to organize neighborhood block parties on
Saturday, Oct. 22 in order to get to know
the faces, vehicles and homes of their
neighbors, and therefore be able to spot
activity that doesn’t belong.
Chandler Police Sgt. Phil Graham, who is in
charge of that city’s Crime Prevention Unit,
said Chandler has only one goal for the
“We want neighbors to get out and meet each
To encourage participation—or at least to
make it more entertaining—the Chandler
Police Department is booking several popular
features to appear at the parties. For
children, McGruff the Crime Dog, Handy the
Graffiti Buster, Darren the DARE Lion or the
Safety Sadie the Clown can be booked.
Older attendees might be more entertained by
visits from the show car, the department’s
mobile command van or the SWAT team’s
various robots and armored vehicles.
“We have a number of resources that will be
out and about,” Graham said.
People interested in organizing a party and
booking guests in Chandler should contact
the Police Department at (480) 782-4633.
Tempe is also scheduling visitors to the
parties. That city’s visitors will include
the mayor and city council members, said
Sgt. Dan Masters, Tempe police public
“We’re definitely on board, and we’ll be
participating in the game this year,” he
Tempe is holding an organizational meeting
from 6 to 7 p.m. Sept. 23 at Pyle Center. It
is designed to “make sure people are on the
same page” about the event.
Tempe’s event will run from 4 to 8 p.m.,
Chandler’s from 2 to 7, both on Oct. 22.
GAIN is Arizona’s answer to the National
Night Out, where cities and towns across the
country organize similar events on one
Since August is not the most desirable time
for an outdoor gathering in Arizona, cities
here have opted to participate on a more
weather-friendly date any time throughout
the month of October.
“This is just a way for us to interact with
the community on a positive level, which is
a refreshing change for us,” Chandler’s Sgt.
Chandler police also made another change to
their community outreach recently. The
meetings that formerly were held in each
beat—a small, usually 2- or 3-square-mile
region patrolled by one officer—have been
expanded to take place at the district
level, each of which encompasses several
smaller beats and is run by a higher-ranking
The meetings serve as a bridge between
citizens and police, allowing residents to
voice their concerns and police to give
crime prevention education.
The Kyrene Corridor sits in Chandler
Police’s District 1. This district’s next
meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday,
Sept. 28, at the Windmills Inn, 3535 W.
“It’s a way to keep that small town feel as
Chandler grows so we don’t lose touch with
the community,” said Chandler Police Det.