A neighborhood and neighbor-friendly crime-fighting event will be held again this evening in New Jersey and across the country, “National Night Out.”

More than 170 New Jersey towns and communities will hopefully get to know their neighbors a bit better this evening. Matt Peskin is the National Town Watch Coordinator says that a neighborhood can only be safe when the people who live there know each other.

Manalapan Police Officer Ross Dessel says “National Night Out’s” evolved over the years for the locals. Dessel says now, everyone gets together to talk about how to prevent crime, but also have fun doing it. Indeed, Jersey towns have staged a myriad of events around their local National Night Out, many geared toward families that include family-oriented entertainment.

Gloucester Township Police Lt. Brendan Barton says you not only get to know local law enforcement and fight crime, but in this day and age it helps in another way. It gets you off the couch.

He says, “With people having children and everybody working it is hard to get out and meet one another.”

Some local events will also serve as a rather somber reminder about the need for better crime-fighting from both citizens and police. The city of Camden just went through a withering July with a final count of 13 murders. That’s a monthly total not seen in this beleaguered city since 1949.