Howdy, neighbor

Kyrene Corridor neighborhoods took on an old-fashioned look when hundreds of residents locked their doors, turned on their porch lights and spent the evening outdoors with their neighbors and the officers who patrol Tempe and Chandler.

The annual event, Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods (GAIN), was observed by thousands with neighborhood block parties, cookouts, visits by local law enforcement and other activities.

The objectives: to generate support for local anti-crime programs, heighten crime- and drug-prevention awareness, and strengthen neighborhood spirit and local police-community partnerships.

To combat the increase in crime in today's society, officials say, local police need the eyes and ears of citizens. To help the police protect your property from criminals, say the experts, neighborhoods need to get involved.

In Tempe, officials asked residents to send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and are fighting back. More than 110 Tempe neighborhoods participated in the observance.

Here’s what policy say neighborhoods GAIN from participating in the event each year:
• Provides an opportunity for neighbors to get to know their neighbors;
• Heightens awareness of crime by increasing communication between neighbors, police and community leaders;
• Strengthens neighborhood awareness;
• Builds relationships of trust and respect between neighbors, police and community leaders;
• Encourages neighborhoods to become involved in preventing crime by joining neighborhood block watches;
• Reduces residential burglaries through neighborhood block watch programs;
• Increases interaction and communication among citizens, police and city leaders; and
• Helps residents to become better educated on crime prevention.