Tonight, several communities across the Mid-Shore will joins thousands more across the nation in celebrating the 36th annual National Night Out.

Police officers will certainly be joining — not to tell people to break it up or turn down the music, but to celebrate right along with them. The whole thing encourages lasting awareness, watchfulness and deterrence of criminal activity.

It shows residents — particularly our young people — that law enforcement professionals are peace officers. Part of keeping and promoting peace is for folks to see people with badges for who they really are: our neighbors, who are always ready to help at a moment’s notice. If people know and recognize them, they’ll feel more comfortable with local law enforcement. That means they may be more aware of when something is amiss and feel more at ease alerting the police.

Mid-Shore towns signed up for National Night Out include Cambridge, Denton, Easton, Grasonville, Hurlock, and St. Michaels.

• Easton Police Department, along with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, will host its 13th annual National Night Out at Moton Park and George Murphy Pool from 5-9 p.m. Tuesday, August 6. This is an opportunity for the entire community to come together as one voice against crime in the neighborhood.

Easton’s National Night Out will feature Talbot Mentors Director Gerson Martinez as an inspirational speaker.

All throughout the country, neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and exhibits.

• The Bay Hundred community will celebrate its National Night Out at the Bay Hundred Community Pool next to St. Michaels Elementary School.

Free hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, beverages and cake will be available with free swimming, music by a local DJ, live choral group, safety demonstrations, resource tables, youth activities, prizes, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and more.

Food will be served at 5:30 p.m. Free swimming for all at the community pool is from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Guest speakers including members of law enforcement and community leaders, and a special ceremony to honor hometown hero Harold Baines, new inductee to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, will start at 7 p.m., followed by a cake cutting.

At 8:15 p.m. participants will take a lighted walk through the streets of St. Michaels as a show of community. Residents are asked to turn on porch lights as a show of support. For more information, call 410-745-9535.

• The Cambridge Police Department will join in the celebration at the Dorchester County Pool at 105 Virginia Ave., Cambridge from to 8 p.m. The event will feature a free pool party, food and music as well as offer a great time to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

• The Hurlock Police Department will join the fun as well from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the town pavilion on Gay Street. Come out and meet your local police officers and volunteer firefighters. The event will offer prizes, food and giveaways.

Today’s celebrations are another happy reminder that no matter what’s going on in this increasingly divided age, the Mid-Shore is a relatively peaceful place on the planet. It’s not newsworthy that almost all of the thousands of people who live, work, play and relax here do so safely each day, but it is pretty good news. So get out and enjoy the neighborhood with folks who are always looking out for you.

For more information about National Night Out, visit www.natw.org.

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