ORANGE GROVE – Orange Grove will host National Night Out on Oct. 7 to encourage the community to come together and show their support to fight crime, Orange Grove Police Chief Karl Van Slooten said.

“This gives the community a chance to come and meet the officers,” Van Slooten said. “Sandia, along with Judge (Karin) Knolle and the Sandia Volunteer Fire Department will help out to combine the two communities for this one event.”

This will be the first National Night Out event for Orange Grove, Van Slooten said. It will start at 7 p.m. at the Orange Grove Volunteer Fire Department.

Hot dogs, hamburgers and other items will be provided as refreshments, and children will have the opportunity to be part of Project I.D., which allows parents to take their child’s fingerprints for their records. Van Slooten explained, in the event that a child is lost, parents will be able to use their copy of the child’s fingerprints to help with identification.

Pamphlets will also be available with crime prevention tips.

Van Slooten said the department will also be signing up local residents who wish to participate in a new citizen’s police academy the department plans on starting after the first of the year.

“We’ve found people to teach the classes, and I think it would be good for the community,” Van Slooten said.

Van Slooten said he hopes to see several hundred residents attend.

“Hopefully it will be big the first year, I don’t know,” Van Slooten said. “I’d love to have 500 people there, but for a first year event, you never can tell.”