By Bill Lindelof and Ryan Lillis
Tonight is National Night Out -- a time when neighbors band together in a common effort to watch out for each other.
It's an age when porch-sitting is not in style it was years ago. It's a time when homeowners hit the remote as soon as their car is parked in the garage, thereby avoiding contact with the neighbor.
But at least once a year, neighbors can re-connect on the first Tuesday in August. National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention, strengthen neighborhoods and forge police-community partnerships.
Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel said today his department is relying more on community support after a string of budget cuts has resulted in fewer officers.
"We need the community's help to tell us what's going on out there," said Braziel.
Mayor Kevin Johnson will be attending at least 6 Night Out events in Natomas, midtown, Oak Park and other neighborhoods.
In the unincorporated Sacramento County, leaders of the sheriff's department will be visiting with groups. The sheriff's department listed 56 Night Out events in the unincorporated area and Rancho Cordova.
The events include ice cream socials, potlucks, barbecues and dessert get-togethers.
"As these groups come together to demonstrate their universal stand against crime, the main objective continues to be the simplest crime prevention technique of all -- getting to know your neighbors," said a press release from the sheriff's department.