LOS ANGELES, Calif.–Communities throughout Los Angeles County will participate tonight in the 28th annual National Night Out crime and drug prevention event.

“National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for and participation in local anti-crime efforts; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back,” said Stephanie Martin of the Manhattan Beach Police Department.

Beginning as early as 4 p.m. in various communities–and extending for several hours–residents are urged to turn on their outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police officers, who will be out in extra patrols.

Among the planned events:
* 4 p.m. in West Hollywood, there will be block parties at Sherbourne Drive and Ashcroft Avenue; Lloyd Place near Elevado Street; Norton Avenue near Laurel Avenue; Hayvenhurst Drive near Santa Monica Boulevard; 1100 block of Kings Road; and Vista Street near Lexington Avenue.

* 4 p.m. in Los Angeles, Van Ness Recreation Center, 5700 block of South Second Avenue.

* 5 p.m. in Valinda, County Supervisor Gloria Molina will be among those on hand at Rimgrove Park, 700 block of North Rimgrove Drive.

* 5 p.m. in Pomona, Civic Center Plaza.

* 5 p.m. in Altadena, Farnsworth Park, 568 E. Mount Curve Ave.

* 5:30 p.m. in Baldwin Park, there will be a march from City Hall, 14403 Pacific Ave., to the parking lot of the Target store, 3100 Baldwin Park Blvd., where a celebration will begin at 6:30 p.m.

* 5:30 p.m. in Burbank, Chandler Boulevard bike path near Keystone Street.

* 6 p.m. in Pasadena, Victory Park, 2500 block of Paloma Street.

* 6 p.m. in Hawaiian Gardens, public safety center, 11940 Carson St.

* And 7 p.m. in Manhattan Beach, various neighborhoods.

National Night Out is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. More information is available at www.nationalnightout.org.