TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- Festivities were underway to get people excited about standing up against crime in Topeka.
580 WIBW and 94.5 Country hosted a kick-off party as a prelude to the Safe Streets National Night Out Against Crime at the radio station's parking lot.
The Night Out is a giant celebration throughout Topeka neighborhoods to spur neighborly friendship to reduce crime. Fifty-two neighborhoods in the city are participating. Organizers say 7,300 people will be involved, which is the best turn-out since the event started in the mid 1990s. Each neighborhood will host differently themed parties, and anyone can attend.
"This is communities coming together and having the same ideas of wanting to be drug-free, wanting to have safe neighborhoods so that their children can go out and play, and that's the whole point," Jamie Slack of 580 A.M. said.
Safe Streets targets crime and substance abuse in communities and aims to get rid of it through educational programs and citizen empowerment.
"The best deterrent for crime is a good neighbor," Director of Safe Streets Christy Pankratz said. "This is a starting point for a lot of peole to get to know their neighbor."
A schedule of events is online at www.safestreets.org