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National Night Out Activities Canceled

INDEPENDENCE -- National Night Out, which was scheduled to take place at the Riverview Park Amphitheater on Tuesday, Aug. 3, has been canceled.

INDEPENDENCE -- National Night Out, which was scheduled to take place at the Riverview Park Amphitheater on Tuesday, Aug. 3, has been canceled.

Angela Chambers of the Polk County Service Integration Team (SIT), the main sponsor of the event, said her agency had experienced a budget and staffing reduction last year that hindered the planning process.

"We didn't have the resources to go ahead and coordinate," Chambers said.

Ditto with the other police departments in Monmouth and Independence, and Polk County Fire District No. 1, the other planning parties, she said.

"People were just not able to participate on the same level as they have in the past," Chambers said.

As its name implies, National Night Out occurs in communities across the United States during the summer. The event is centered around crime prevention and safety awareness, and includes a barbecue, safety demonstrations and other activities.

About 25 to 30 organizations attended the 2009 event, as did 700 or so community members, Chambers said.

Planners hope to revive National Night Out next year, though that will again depend on time and resources.

"SIT's hope is another coordinator will step up," Chambers said. "We still want to be a part of it because it's a wonderful community event."

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