Five "National Night Out" events are scheduled in Iowa City on Tuesday, Aug. 4 as part of a nationwide effort to heighten crime and drug-prevention awareness, strengthen communities, build partnerships between neighborhoods and the Police Department, and send a message that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back against crime. Live music, food and beverages, and a variety of kid-friendly events are scheduled, along with appearances by McGruff the Crime Dog and Herky, the University of Iowa mascot.

The public is invited to attend the evening's main event, scheduled at Wetherby Park, 2400 Taylor Drive, from 5 to 7 p.m. Festivities will include live music by D.J. Juan Santiago from 5 to 6:30 p.m.; face-painting; tours of Iowa City Police cars, Iowa City fire engines, and Johnson County Ambulances; family fun in the park's splash pad; and numerous handouts and gifts provided by the Iowa City Police Department (ICPD) and Target, including kids' backpacks. There is no fee to participate.

Four other neighborhood parties are scheduled at the following locations:

Paddock Circle Park, 6-7 p.m.: Neighbors will meet at the intersection of Paddock Circle and  Pinto Lane

City High, 6-7 p.m.: East College, Morningside Drive, and Wilson Street neighborhoods will meet near “Miss Liberty” on the City High School lawn

Sugar Loaf Circle, 5-7 p.m.: Neighbors will meet in the 800 block

Pheasant Ridge Complex, 5-7 p.m.  

Officers from the ICPD will be attending all parties to meet neighbors, distribute safety information, and hand out special gifts to children. Herky and McGruff will also make an appearance at all the block parties.

This is the 32nd annual National Night Out, which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and co-sponsored locally by the ICPD with support from Target, Johnson County Community Partnership, and the Iowa City Area Crime Stoppers. Nationwide, more than 15,000 communities from all 50 states and over 38 million people are expected to participate in this year's events.

For more information, contact Officer R.A. Mebus at, or call the Crime Prevention Office at 319-356-5273.



Date of publication

Thursday, July 30, 2015