The 28th Annual National Night Out, a crime/drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch(NATW), will take place Tuesday, August 2.

Organizers expect tens of millions of participants across the U.S. to come out in "America's night out against crime!"

The idea for a night out against crime arose in 1984 and was the brainchild of NATW Executive Director Matt A. Peskin.  In an attempt to heighten awareness and strengthen participation in local anticrime efforts, Peskin felt that a high-profile, high-impact crime prevention event was needed nationally.

The 1984 event involved 400 communities in 23 states with an estimated 2.5 million Americans involved.  The annual night, which takes place on the first Tuesday of every August, grew dramatically over the years.

The 2010 event involved citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations, and local officials from over 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide.  In all, over 37 million people participated in National Night Out 2010.

The goal of National Night Out is to:

-Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs

-Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness

-Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships

-Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back

Along with the traditional display of outdoor lights and front porch vigils, cities, towns and neighborhoods "celebrate" NNO with a variety of events and activities.  These include block parties, cookouts, parades, exhibits, flashlight walks, contests, youth programs, and visits from local police and sheriff departments.

CLICK HERE to find an event near you.