National Night Out In Sunbury

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SUNBURY -- It is a time when people come together to fight back against crime in a fun way. National Night Out is an event held in communities all over the country, and in many places in our area.

The Sunbury Crimewatch group spent the day setting up tables at Cameron Park. The group was getting ready for Sunbury's 20th annual National Night Out celebration.

"We have a Chinese auction, a 50/50. We also have the Red Cross coming in, the Navy, Army, National Guard. We have our police department," Connie Beegle said.

National Night Out is an annual event held in communities all across the country. The event is meant to increase awareness about crime, drug prevention and neighborhood watch groups.

"It's our night to show the grassroots citizens, the everyday John and Jane Doe are willing to go out and fight crime," Chief Stephen Mazzeo said.

This year's event in Sunbury is expected to draw more than 1,000 people. It features food, a dunk tank, live music, and a pie eating contest. Sunbury Crimewatch President Connie Beegle hopes to spread the word about what her group does.

"We go out and patrol the streets, hold events, help people and watch different houses at nighttime," Beegle said.

The Sunbury police chief says over the past few years, crimewatch groups like this one have played an important role in helping police officers solve crimes.

"Hidden almost if you will, calling in reports and giving us information. We've had some tremendous arrests from the information provided by crimewatch," Mazzeo said.

"They tell us, yes, they do. They tell us we're their eyes and ears," Beegle said.

National Night Out in Sunbury runs until 9 p.m. at Cameron Park. There are many other National Night Out events tonight held in communities all over northeastern and central Pennsylvania.