August 11, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.
Deltona’s Night Out - Volusia County Sheriff’s Office hands out hotdogs, stamps out crime in Deltona
By KATHLEEN RASCHE
DELTONA – Residents ate free cake and hotdogs and watched safety demonstrations at National Night Out’s 30th Anniversary on Tuesday. Volusia County Sheriff’s Office used Deltona City Hall as base for the annual event, having fun and helping to stamp out crime simultaneously.
“We coordinated with (Deltona). We thought if we did a city-wide event, whether you’re part of a neighborhood watch or not, you can see what we (neighborhood watch) are all about,” said Sgt. Pat Leahy, who organized National Night Out in Deltona for five years.
He said Tuesday’s event had the largest crowd yet.
National Night Out is held the first Tuesday in August. The campaign was started by the National Association of Town Watch in 1984, and cities across the country hold celebrations where they teach residents how to keep their neighborhoods safe and how to start neighborhood watch groups. Deltona has 32 groups. Leahy would like to see more.
“You can never have too many,” said Leahy, “It’s a preventative measure to keep crime out of the area.”
That involves getting to know your neighbors.
Chris Petry and his wife, Laurie just moved into a neighborhood in Deltona. Even before attending the night out event, the Petrys introduced themselves to their neighbors. They sat in on one of the night out seminars on identity theft.
“We all look out for each other,” said Stacy Doengers, about her neighbors.
“It’s a quiet street,” said Mike Prater, who was with Doengers.
Doengers believes if criminal activity was happening in her neighborhood, she would notice. “We would call the police,” said Doengers.
Calling the police is the message Leahy was trying to get across. He says neighbors working together as the eyes and ears of the neighborhood is a good thing but, “We don’t want them taking any action other than calling us,” said Leahy.
For neighborhood watch information, call Leahy at 386-860-7030, or to report a non-emergency crime call 386-736-5999.
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352
Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151