Northeast side neighborhood continues parade tradition for National Night Out

A northeast side neighborhood once plagued by burglaries, took to the streets Tuesday night to take a stand against crime.

It started with a small parade through the streets of Royal Pines.

"Every year, we get together and get to know each other. That is what tonight is all about," explained Crime Watch Organizer Julie Dunn. "This is our 3rd annual evening for the National Night Out. What we do is have an ice cream social and do a little parade for the kids and make it fun for them."

PHOTO: Kids riding their bikes in Royal Pines' annual National Night Out parade

Fun, but serious because people in Royal Pines have seen their share of home burglaries. But things like better lighting, visible alarm signs and watching out for suspicious activity has helped.

"The best thing we can do is keep an eye for each other," Dunn added. "That is the best thing I can say."

The parade's mascot, Albert the Alligator, is their symbol for taking a bite out of crime. Thanks to "Albert" and a police escort, this year's parade even drew some first-time homeowners out of their houses - just what police need to help them to lower crime.

PHOTO: Royal Pines' parade mascot, "Albert the Alligator"

"Kids in the neighborhood who know each other, they go to school together. It's really like community base policing at it's core because everybody is working together," explained IMPD Lt. Patrick Commiskey.

Now, with more people committed to the Blue Pledge in Royal Pines to call 911 on criminals, if nothing else - they feel safer.

"I mean, I want to raise my kids in a safe environment. I want them to be able to go around the neighborhood and feel safe," said Dunn.

Dunn and police warn: don't wait until burglars start breaking into homes on your street to start a crime watch. Get involved now to make your street safer.