Have you ever thrown a Night Out Against Crime party before? If not, you really should. It isn't often that you can hold a police-sanctioned soirée in the middle of the street, and this national, once-a-year crime-awareness event—which happens on the first Tuesday of every August—is the perfect opportunity.

People don't tend to get pumped up about crime awarness promotions, but Night Out is really, truly cool. The Seattle Police Department says that "When you register your event in Seattle, most non-arterial streets can be blocked off (without a fee), so you and your neighbors can take over your street." Also cool: real-life SPD officers come hang out at a bunch of the registered Night Out parties around the city. This year, that will be a very cathartic experience for many Seattleites still reeling from all the controversy currently surrounding the police department.

One more cool thing: Night Out happens to fall on primary election night this year, so your crime-awareness party can double as an election results party. Awesome.

Here's how to register your neighborhood party, from the SPD:

1. Register your neighborhood using our online form
2. Add your event to the public map (optional, you can keep your event private too).
3. Invite your neighbors by printing off the materials on our website. A street closure sign is available too.
4. And finally, get involved in the conversation about Night Out by “liking” our Night Out Facebook Page.

More information about Night Out can be found on the SPD Blotter and the SPD dedicated Night Out page