FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. - The Fort Meade Directorate of Emergency Services and Picerne Military Housing have partnered to bring the 28th Annual National Night Out to the post community on Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. at McGlachlin Parade Field.

The hourlong parade through Fort Meade's residential neighborhoods will begin at 5 p.m.

This free event, held every year on the first Tuesday in August, is designed to heighten crime-prevention awareness, generate support for anticrime programs and strengthen partnerships between emergency responders and the neighborhoods they serve, said Meagan Murray, communications specialist with Picerne.

"We want everyone to come out," Murray said. "The goal is to have fun and work together to continue to keep Fort Meade safe."

Last year's National Night Out drew a crowd of 5,000 made up of community members, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, neighborhood organizations and local officials, including local supporting organizations and sponsors, Murray said.

This year, "America's Night Out Against Crime" will feature demonstrations from the post K-9 and Force Protection team, National Security Agency SWAT team, and an Anne Arundel County Police helicopter landing.

Parents are encouraged to stop by the Child Identification Services booth and observe the child safety-seat installation demonstration, Murray said.

Free hot dogs, cotton candy and popcorn will be available throughout the evening.

Other activities include a Boot Camp Challenge inflatable obstacle course, mobile game theater, laser tag and face painting.

DES will be promoting the installation's iWatch Army program, a contemporary version of the neighborhood watch program that focuses on terrorist activity as well as crime, said Roy S. Parker, Military Police Investigations Section supervisor.

"At National Night Out, we plan to inform people of the Fort Meade iWatch website, which allows community members to report potential terrorist activities," Parker said. "The site gives people a direct channel of communication to their local police."

It's a simple system to use. The only hurdle right now is letting people know it exists, Parker said.

Visit iWatch at to report suspicious activity on Fort Meade.

For more information about National Night Out, call 301-677-5602.