(Originally published August 10, 2006.)

Five Hesperia neighborhoods took to the streets last Tuesday to present a unified front against crime. A potluck-eating, music-listening, game-playing front, but a front nonetheless.

It was Hesperia's first time participating in the National Night Out celebration, which has been celebrated for 23 years across the nation and serves as a way to bring neighbors together, often working hand-in-hand with local neighborhood watch programs.

"I thought it was great," said Roxanne Walker, the spokeswoman for the Hesperia station of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, who organized the events in Hesperia. Walker also serves as the point person for neighborhood watch programs in the city. "I didn't really know what to expect, having been the first opportunity to do this. Overall, I thought it was a wonderful event. I thought the participation in it was great."

In addition to residents playing music, sharing food and more -- including setting up bounce houses or offering pony rides -- city officials, including representatives of the sheriff's department and San Bernardino County Fire Department, toured the various block parties.

The only other High Desert community to participate in National Night Out this year was Adelanto. Local Target stores and real estate developer Frontier Homes sponsored the events.

"I'm really looking forward to doing it next year and hopefully including more neighborhoods," Walker said. "When the lines of communication are open [between neighbors], that's when you get things done."