With 80 officers recently laid off in Oakland, community leaders there say it’s more important than ever for people to join an annual anti-crime event the first week of August.

The “National Night Out” is a series of block parties for neighbors to get to know each other in a casual, non-stressful way. Oakland Police held a news conference this week publicizing the event, which they say is crucial in the high crime city, especially since there are now fewer cops on the street. Click to Listen

Tina Ramos, whose family owns a restaurant in Oakland, and is one of the organizers, says this is a good opportunity for people to come together.

”We need to watch out for one another and realize that one of the best crime prevention tools ever invented is a good neighbor,” said Ramos. “This year, like every year, the “National Night Out” takes place on the first Tuesday of August, which is August 3rd this year.”

Last year there were more than 400 small block parties in Oakland, but this year she is hoping for an even larger number.