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Residents, police team to GAIN on criminals

Residents, police team to GAIN on criminals

Sarah Muench
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 22, 2005 12:00 AM

Tempe's porch lights will gleam tonight as police and residents band together in an effort to fight crime.

Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods - or GAIN - is the local version of National Night Out, when neighborhoods and apartments host block parties to boost support for anti-crime efforts.

"It's a good outreach for neighbors to meet neighbors," Tempe police Sgt. Dan Masters said. "It's a big help to stop crime. Officers and neighbors get to know each other."

So far, 94 citywide events have been scheduled for tonight, said Kathy Groenewold, Tempe police crime free multi-housing coordinator. Neighborhood coordinators have contacted residents about the events, she said.

Events range from neighborhood association and apartment complex parties, mobile home community get-togethers and small cul-de-sac meetings, Groenewold said.

She said Tempe police horses, K-9 units, a DUI van, City Council members and Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman will make appearances at various events.

Tempe has had three homicides this year, including the most recent killing of a 19-year-old Skin Cabaret employee and Hooters waitress in September at the Saddle Club Apartment Homes, near Mill Avenue and U.S. 60.

"One of the best crime prevention tools out there is getting to know your neighbors," Groenewold said.

National Night Out is observed the second Tuesday of August. But Arizona's hot August weather prompted local law enforcement agencies 10 years ago to establish the local observance in October.

GAIN is tonight in several East Valley cities.

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