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Stephanie Fail, Published July 26 2011

Block parties to celebrate ‘Night to Unite’ in F-M area

FARGO – Local law enforcement agencies are joining efforts Aug. 2 for their third annual “Night to Unite.”

Officials from Moorhead; Fargo; West Fargo; Hawley, Minn.; and Cass and Clay counties gathered Monday at the Fargo police station to explain what they’re doing to celebrate Night to Unite.

Night to Unite, which used to be known as National Night Out, is part of a larger campaign across the U.S. and Canada to help prevent crime and strengthen neighborhood bonds and police-community relations.

Fargo and Moorhead will celebrate on the streets, with the police and fire departments visiting block parties they are helping to arrange.

There will be about 20 block parties scattered throughout Fargo, Police Chief Keith Ternes said.

“Police and firefighters make it a point to stop by and interact on an informal basis and to encourage residents year-round to get to know their neighbors,” Ternes said.

Moorhead Police Chief David Ebinger said 43 block parties are registered so far in Moorhead.

West Fargo’s Night to Unite is from 5 to 9 p.m. at Elmwood Park at 500 13th Ave. W. Community organizations will be present, along with food vendors, entertainment, face painting, dancing, and demonstrations of the equipment and technologies emergency responders use.

“This gives us an opportunity to let the public see what we do and explain the services we provide,” said West Fargo Police Chief Arland Rasmussen.

Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney said law enforcement depends on residents in the communities.

“They know when something doesn’t belong or isn’t right,” he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Stephanie Fail at (701) 235-7311