BROKEN ARROW, OKLA. - Tuesday marks another National Night Out, and police departments here in Green Country plan to meet with different neighborhoods in their respective communities to discuss crime prevention.
Broken Arrow police decided to kick off their campaign early by holding a family safety event on Saturday.
Officers organized the event to appeal both to parents and their children. About a dozen vendors offered information to adults on everything from home security systems to insurance policies. Kids got to enjoy a snow cone stand as well as a bounce house set up at Central Park on Broken Arrow's Main Street.
Police Chief David Boggs said he hoped the fun atmosphere would make families feel more comfortable with his department.
"We love to spend time with people when they don't need us, and it's always good to have something positive where you can sit down and talk about things," Chief Boggs said. "We're always in the best possible position if we can prevent crime (and) not have to respond to it at somebody's house."
Police also tried to help people avoid becoming victims of identity theft. They brought in a commercial paper shredding service to offer free shredding for sensitive documents, which Vicki Cotton said she found comforting.
"You don't want (to throw away) stuff with your Social Security number and that kind of thing (in the garbage) or your credit card numbers because you don't want anybody using those," Cotton said.
Police set up a drop-off sites as well for unused and expired medications. Police plan to dispose of the pills properly because Chief Boggs said that reduces the risk for crime.
"Pills have a high street value," he said. "Once you've used what you need, we always ask you to dispose of it responsibly."
Families said they hope the police keep the event going and make it longer next year.
A National Night Out event is also planned in Tulsa Tuesday at Hicks Park, located at 3443 S. Mingo Road. Organizers said the event will feature fun, food and entertainment as well as a chance to discuss crime with local police. It will last from 6 to 8 p.m.