NEW ORLEANS - On Tuesday night, communities are gathering together to stand up against crime across the metro New Orleans area.
"Night Out Against Crime" brings neighbors together with local law enforcement officials and community leaders.
Violence continues to plague parts of the metro area, which inspired law enforcement and anti-crime groups to support the event, which they hope will put a dent in criminal activity.
"The community has to understand that they are our first line of defense," said New Orleans Officer Kristy Johnson.
The initiative is getting additional support from the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 2012.
The group printed out 5,000 signs with the message "Thou shalt not kill."
They hope the signs will be placed in yards across the metro area as a reminder and a reinforcement of that message.
"Perhaps in someone's rage or anger or contemplating murder, maybe if they see the sign, God could use that sign to make them think twice, maybe even change their heart," said Archbishop Gregory Aymond.
"National Night Out Against Crime" is usually celebrated in August by about 35 million people across the country.
In 2011, local law enforcement agencies petitioned the national group to have the date moved to October locally, because temperatures are much cooler in the fall.
There are a number of events going on across the area, and most provide food and a block party atmosphere.
Residents are encouraged to turn on their porch lights.
"It's very important to do activities like this in the city and throughout the metro area. You get to come out and meet your neighbors, get good information from the police department and other supporting agencies," said Johnson.
Knowing neighbors is important, because then residents will know when they see a stranger in their area, said New Orleans Officer John Dobard.
To find a list of neighborhood events, visit http://crimestoppersgno.org/nightout.php.