Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120

Saturday, August 3 is National Night Out in Perris

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough (right) leads a contingent of hikers on a 2.5-mile trek at the Lake Perris State Recreation Area, an outing that drew more than 100 enthusiastic residentsThe Perris Mounted Patrol proved popular with the crowd who attended the 2011 National Night Out.

The City of Perris on Saturday will play host to the annual National Night Out, a community anti-crime and neighborhood-building program begun three decades ago.

Perris police and Cal Fire plan a variety of family-friendly and informative events beginning at 11 a.m. at Frank Eaton Park, 3600 Bradley Road.

Activities include appearances by McGruff the Crime Dog, members of the police department’s special enforcement team, motorcycle officers, the Perris Citizens Patrol, a recruiter from the department’s personnel office and plenty of giveaways for children.

Fire department vehicles will be on display and firefighters will be handing out fire-safety and fire-prevention materials.

Now celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013, the purpose of the Night Out is to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch said the National Night Out provides public safety representatives to reach out to the public and gives City residents the opportunity to learn first-hand about what their police and fire department dollars buy. He said residents also can learn tips about personal and property safety.

“It’s the chance to get educated about how to be safe,” Busch said.

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough, a member of the City’s public safety committee, said National Night Out provides citizens with the chance to lend a hand. Yarbrough said he hopes to see people volunteering for the Perris Citizens Patrol, which has saved the City millions of dollars in public safety expenses over the years by assisting sworn officers at accidents scenes and parades and by providing “eyes and ears” surveillance while on patrol. It’s also a great opportunity to start or join an existing Neighborhood Watch group.

“Public safety is our City’s top priority and this City Council is committed to providing the best possible public safety we can afford,” Yarbrough said. “Our residents need to get involved so they can help themselves while helping their city or their neighborhood.”