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Planning an Event

It provides an opportunity for law enforcement officers to meet residents and discuss their concerns and is a way . . .

It provides an opportunity for law enforcement officers to meet residents and discuss their concerns and is a way for them to get public safety information out. A well executed crime prevention event will generate support for local law enforcement efforts and get people more people in involved in Neighborhood Watch and other prevention programs.

Often, law enforcement agencies take the lead in organizing crime prevention events, but anyone can help. Here are a few steps to help you plan your event.

  • Recruit a group of volunteers to help. Try to include volunteers from law enforcement, community organizations, local businesses, and Neighborhood Watch groups.
  • Find a place to hold the event, such as a public park, a street, or parking lot that can be closed to traffic, or a local school or church.
  • Find out if any permits are needed to hold your event, and obtain them.
  • Decide what information you’d like to provide and who should hand it out. Ask local businesses, community groups, and other organizations to hand out educational materials, and prepare your own. It will help if you can estimate how many people will attend.
  • Make sure the local police department has a table at the event and is invited to hand out educational brochures and other information. NCPC has many crime prevention brochures that can be reproduced and distributed at no charge, as well as McGruff products that can be purchased.
  • Decide what other activities you’d like to have at the event. Do you want live music? Games for children? One idea could be to have children draw or color a picture dealing with crime prevention, or complete a fun worksheet or puzzle. McGruff coloring and activity sheets are available free to download and distribute.
  • Determine whether you want to serve food. If so, ask a few local businesses to donate or sell items.
  • Invite McGruff to attend. If your law enforcement agency doesn’t have a McGruff suit, email your town, state, and zip code to mcgruffevents@ncpc.org and someone will respond with contact information for the closest agency that does have a McGruff.
  • Think of ways to promote your event. Make a flier and post copies in local shops and in other public places. Ask volunteers to put them in mailboxes or bring them door-to-door to houses on their street. If McGruff is attending, consider including an image of him on the flier. To be sent an image of McGruff and obtain permission for its use, contact us.
  • Decorate for the event. Consider having a banner made or asking if participating agencies have banners they’d like to have displayed.
  • Want the news media to come? Then prepare a press release about the event and send it to local newspapers and radio and television stations.
  • Ask a volunteer to photograph the day. It will be fun to look at pictures and serve as a great promotion for a similar event in the future.
  • Remember that someone needs to set up before the event and clean up after. Ask volunteers to help to even out the workload.
  • Be prepared! Bring a first aid kit and make sure the area is safe before people arrive.

Finally, don’t forget to congratulate yourself and thank everyone who helped.

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