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Neighborhoods all across the country, — and several in Carroll County — will host events Tuesday, Aug. 4 as part of National Night Out Against Crime.

The event, now in its 25th year, is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and local organizations and police agencies.

The night is designed to heighten the awareness of crime and drug prevention. Neighbors are encouraged to lock their doors, turn their lights on and spend time outside with their neighbors.

"National Night Out is our opportunity to stand together and tell the criminal element that we will not tolerate that," said Maj. Phil Kasten, public information officer for the Carroll County Sheriff's Office.

Eldersburg will have its first ever National Night Out even, 6 to 9 p.m., at the rear parking lot of Carrolltown Center, 6400 Ridge Road, in partnership with the Freedom Area Citizens' Council and the Sheriff's Office.

The event features a moon bounce, face painting, free food and giveaways, a raffle, a 1952 Korean M.A.S.H. ambulance on display and safety demonstrations.

Carroll Area Transit System will offer free transportation to the event. Commissioner Julia Gouge and state Del. Susan Krebs (R-9B) are also scheduled to attend.

The location is somewhat symbolic — Carrolltown Center has received a great deal of community attention in recent months because of issues regarding its redevelopment and also community concerns about potential crime there.

"No other shopping center in Carroll County has received that amount of attention," Kasten said.

Sheriff's deputies have actively patrolled the mall's property and has seen some positive results, Kasten said. Crime has actually gone down at Carrolltown, Kasten said, though arrests increased.

It's a matter of perception that the mall is dangerous, Kasten said. FACC President Ellen Dix agrees.

"I read the statistical reports that last couple years and (crime) has gone way down, but the perception is still there in people's minds," Dix said.

The event is a way to celebrate the community's togetherness for helping make Carrolltown safer and hoping that the center will soon return to its glory days.

"Carrolltown mall was the center for Eldersburg," she said. "It was the shopping place, a meeting place, a place to eat. It's what downtown Eldersburg was."

Unity across Carroll

Elsewhere in the county, New Windsor's event will be held 7 to 9 p.m. at the New Windsor Carnival Grounds on Atlee Avenue, and will feature the Sheriff's Office displays and information.

Sykesville's NNO event will be 5 to 8 p.m. at Burkett Park off of Norris Avenue. The evening includes, free hot dogs and chips donated by Salerno's Restaurant as well as appearances by McGruff the Crime Dog, Mr. Skip the Astronomer, a speed pitch for kids, community organization booths, fire and police equipment and music by the group, Moe Stringz.

Union Bridge's NNO will be 7 to 9 p.m. at Town Square, featuring the Sheriff's Office equipment, K-9 unit, DNA kits, refreshments and gifts.

In Westminster, the NNO celebration will take place at several locations and times throughout the city, also with police and community presentations:

* 6 to 8 p.m., Kings Park play area, Chase Street;

* 6 to 8 p.m., PNC Bank, 132 W. Main St.;

* 6 to 8 p.m., Westminster Church of God parking lot, 27 N. Center St.;

* 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Carroll Lutheran Village's Garden of Memories, St. Matthew Court; and

* 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Eagleview Homeowners Association, Firestone and Tahoma Farm roads.

Encore in Taneytown

Taneytown is delaying its National Night Out celebration in order to combine it with another community party, and will hold it Saturday, Aug. 15, at Memorial Park off of Route 140.

A Family Picnic in the Park and movie night will start at 5 p.m., and the movie "Wall-E" will be shown at dusk.

Human services vendors, such as Mission of Mercy will be on hand, and food and games will also be available.

Police will also be on hand giving out identification kits and information.

Eldersburg National Night Out Shuttle

Carroll Area Transit System will provide free transportation to and from the Eldersburg National Night Out at the Carrolltown Center, Liberty and Ridge roads, Eldersburg. The Eldersburg event will be held 6 to 9 p.m.

Pick-up stop

Gaither Manor 5 p.m.

Sykesville Apartments 5:12 p.m.

Village House 5:15 p.m.

Spencer Village 5:35 p.m.

Carrolltown Village 5:45 p.m.

Marvin Gardens 5:50 p.m.

Carrolltowne Center 6 p.m.

Gaither Manor 6:10 p.m.

Village House 6:20 p.m.

Carrolltown Village 6:30 p.m.

Marvin Gardens 6:35 p.m.

Carrolltowne Center 6:45 p.m.

Take-home stop

Carrolltowne Center 7 p.m.

Marvin Gardens 7:10 p.m.

Carrolltown Village 7:15 p.m.

Village House 7:25 p.m.

Sykesville Apartments 7:35 p.m.

Gaither Manor 7:40 p.m.

Carrolltowne Center 8 p.m.

Marvin Gardens 8:10 p.m.

Carrolltown Village 8:15 p.m.

Village House 8:25 p.m.

Sykesville Apartments 8:35 p.m.

Gaither Manor 8:40 p.m.

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