Residents turned out in droves Tuesday evening to sample free food and meet members of the and other community organizations during the annual Night Out Against Crime.
Bill Conway, a spokesman for the precinct, estimated that as many as 1,000 northeast Queens residents would show up to take part in the festivities in front of at the .
“I think it’s going to be the most crowded year,” he said.
Groups and local businesses attending the event included the Little Neck Douglaston Lions Club, ’s CERT team, , and the Little Neck Douglaston Ambulance Corps.
State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, said he has been attending the Night Out Against Crime, which was founded as an event to discourage crime, for 20 years.
“Originally, it was founded because crime was rampant and people were afraid to walk in their own neighborhoods,” he said. “So, it was a way to get them to work with the police. I think it worked. By working together, the police and local communities have helped to bring down crime.”
Louis Calderon, president of the ambulance corps, said he signed up a new member on the spot for the first time in the six years he has attended the Night Out Against Crime.
“It’s great to meet community members, who get to ask us questions in an informal setting,” he said.
For the kids, the event had a variety of games and a massive bouncy house.
Members of the Lions Club and the 111th Precinct cooked hamburgers and hotdogs for attendees.
Susan Macinick, CERT’s commander, said a number of residents had turned out to make use of a shredder on loan for the event to dispose of their household trash for free.
She said CERT members were also passing out information on identity theft.
“We are trying to spread the word on how to avoid, deter and detect ID theft,” she said.
Lyle Sclair, director of the Bayside BID, said he thought the event provided a great opportunity for members of the community to gather for a good cause.
“I think any time you have a community event that brings people together from northeast Queens’s communities, it’s a good thing,” he said.