Jacksonville hosts Texans Against Crime event

Released by Kelly Young with the City of Jacksonville:

JACKSONVILLE, TX - The citizens of Jacksonville will take to the streets next Tuesday evening to participate in Texans Against Crime, an East Texas-based community crime prevention event, and they will have 10 locations around town to choose from.

Parties will be held in numerous neighborhoods across Jacksonville, each with its own slate of food and activities planned. Crime Prevention Officer Tonya Sonntag said the purpose of TAC is to bring members of Jacksonville's various neighborhoods together.

"Community-building events like this mean everything to our crime prevention efforts in our city. The more people who get involved , and the more everyone knows who lives next door to them, the safer our community will be for everyone," Sonntag said. "There aren't enough police for us to be everywhere at once, so the citizens have to be our eyes and ears, and TAC is a great recruiting program for neighborhood crime watches."

According to Sonntag, statistics have proven that crime rates in an area typically decrease after the formation of a crime watch in that neighborhood.

TAC is an East Texas evolution of the worldwide National Night Out crime prevention program. NNO usually occurs annually in August, and a group of East Texas law enforcement agencies got together and decided that an October event would be a much more palatable experience for members of the community. October is also National Crime Prevention Month.

The locations of this year's block parties are:

  • the intersection of Canada and Avalon streets;
  • the 300 block of Alexander Street;
  • the 1000 block of Timothy Street;
  • the 600 block of Pebble Beach;
  • the 1200 block of Harvard Street;
  • at the Sweet Union Baptist Church;
  • at Buckner Park;
  • at North Gate Trailer Park;
  • at the Conway Homes subdivision; and
  • at the Jacksonville Pines apartment complex.

Sonntag said the parties will vary in length and will offer everything from a karaoke contest to skits to free food. Most of the block parties will begin at 6 p.m.

While the parties are free, each of the 10 locations will be accepting donations of canned goods to benefit HOPE. Sonntag said the event has been very successful in previous years, and she looks forward to another good showing in 2009.

"Things are really coming together well this year, and I hope everybody comes out, gets to know their neighbors and has a good time. It takes a whole community to fight crime," she said.