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Local "National Night Out" events held tonight

NATIONWIDE   --  Tonight is the "National Night Out" against crime.
The event began in 1984 as a way for communities to let criminals know that they're ready and willing to fight back.
   
National Night Out was started by a non-profit group called 'National Association of Town Watch" nearly 30 years ago.
   
In the first years, it was marked by people leaving their porch lights on overnight.
Today, that's still the case but many communities have turned into a neighborhood celebration of sorts.
   
An estimated 15,000 communities across the country now recognize the event with neighborhood gatherings, cookouts, parades and educational seminars.
   
In most, law enforcement agencies and neighborhoods team up to show a team effort is at work to prevent crime.

Tonight, at the park at Fort Walton Beach landing.   The events begin at 6pm with seminars in self defense for children and women, fire and bicycle safety, and a meet and greet with a number of law enforcement agencies.
   
In Pensacola, the festivities start at 6:30 at Magee Field, with a host of similar events.
The Community Center in Milton will also host a night out event tonight.
   
And this year, retail giant "Target" is the main sponsor and will be providing the refreshments.