Tonight is the 37th annual National Night Out, when residents are encouraged to get outside and spend the evening with neighbors and law enforcement. Tonight's activities are slated to take place in Saint Cloud from 5:00 PM to 9:30 PM.

Of course all participants are being asked to take coronavirus precautions like keeping groups small, wearing facemarks, and maintaining safe social distancing.

The 2020 National Night Out, annually scheduled for the first Tuesday in August, was moved to tonight amid COVID-19 concerns.

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships within neighborhoods across the nation. National Night Out is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and co-sponsored locally by the St. Cloud Police Department.

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Many neighborhoods throughout St. Cloud will be hosting a variety of special events including block parties, cookouts, contests, youth activities and anti-crime rallies. Saint Cloud Police Officers, Firefighters and other public safety personnel visit these activities.

My neighborhood on the south side of Saint Cloud is having a bonfire and (bring your own food) picnic and gathering.

The National Night Out was designed to raise crime and drug prevention awareness, increase support for local crime prevention efforts, build neighborhood connections and relationships with law enforcement, and send a message to criminals showing them that neighborhoods are united in the fight against crime.

Pete Hanson is on 98.1 Minnesota's New Country weekday mornings from 5:30 to 10:00.

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