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In 1984, Matt Peskin saw what was happening in the country and instead of sitting back and doing nothing, decided to make a difference.Sedona Police Department officers and SWAT members from other law enforcement agencies demonstrate tactics for the public by staging a traffic stop at last year’s National Night Out at Posse Grounds Park. The event takes place Saturday, Aug. 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“The crime rate was extraordinarily high, especially when it came to residential burglary,” he said last week from his Pennsylvania office. “People were doing all types of things to protect themselves. That’s how we came up with the idea. It was a night for people to sit on their porches with the lights on and for them to see how many people are on their side. The criminals want you to be afraid and for the streets and homes to be dark. This was a way of telling the criminals that we were taking back our neighborhoods.”

The end result was National Night Out, which has become one of the biggest one-day events in the country with nearly 38 million people participating from 16,124 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.

Each year the event is hosted by several law enforcements agencies throughout state, including Sedona. Residents and visitors are invited to come and enjoy a free community picnic and safety presentations on Saturday, Aug. 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Posse Ground Park. Because of afternoon weather concerns and conflicting events at the schools, the event was switched from evening to afternoon.

To read the full story, see the Wednesday, July 23, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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