Free franks for crime, disease prevention |

Free franks for crime, disease prevention

Kristen Allen

Tips on preventing crime and West Nile virus will be handed out along with hot dogs Tuesday when the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office invites local residents to the second annual National Night Out. The event takes place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Avon Wal-Mart and the Eagle and El Jebel City Markets. Deputies will serve free hot dogs and bottled water and talk about preventing crime. “This is a yearly event where we try to socialize in a friendly environment and get citizens involved with their neighborhoods,” says Tamra Blackard, an Eagle County deputy who specializes in crime prevention. Ten information packets will be available, on subjects such as domestic violence, personal safety, home security, forming and running a neighborhood watch and senior safety. A Spanish edition will also be given out. Officers will have coloring books and deputy badges for children.”Last year we served over 300 hot dogs per location,” says Blackard. “This year we hope to do more.” In addition to free dinner, citizens can take advantage of free bug repellent wipes and information on West Nile Virus prevention supplied by the Eagle County Environmental Health office, affiliated with the state’s “Fight the Bite” campaign.Though no cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in the area this summer, Ray Merry, director of Eagle County Environmental Health, says residents should still guard against the disease. Because West Nile virus has recently been reported in Delta and Mesa Counties, Merry says he expects the disease could reach Eagle County in August and September. “We still want people to have a good time and enjoy the outdoors, while respecting the fact that it’s a serious disease,” Merry says. “We’re not finding any in Eagle County yet, but the scary part is that then the public can become complacent and not wear mosquito repellent.”Introduced by the National Association of Town Watch in 1984, National Night Out aims to heighten awareness and involvement in local anti-crime efforts. Last year 10,000 communities and 33 million people participated nationwide. This year, the expected 10,400 participating cities will include 52 Colorado communities.”National Night Out offers an extraordinary opportunity for citizens, community groups, law enforcement and local officials to get out, meet, greet and discuss local issues,” says Matt Peskin, creator and a national coordinator of the event.==========================================To Learn More• For more information on National Night out, contact the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit at (970)-328-8500 or visit• For West Nile Virus prevention information, visit

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