Binghamton's Night Out: Combating Drugs, Violence, Crime

By Kelly McCarthy

Binghamton's Night Out: Combating Drugs, Violence, Crime

February 12, 2013 Updated Feb 13, 2013 at 2:06 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Binghamton's Night Out against Drugs, Violence and Crime is starting a new effort to engage the community.

National Night Out is a movement typically held in August to bring communities together to raise awareness of the dangers of drugs, violence and crime.

The city of Binghamton is hosting a first National Night Out in February in hopes of creating more awareness on the area's drug problem.

The event is set for Saturday at the United Presbyterian Church and include a public forum to bring community members, police officers and treatment agencies to discuss the problems of drug abuse and crime.

Theo Harris, a recovering heroin addict and author, will share his personal story of overcoming addiction.

The Rev. Ausby of Hands of Hope Ministries says the church has been seen firsthand problems related to drug use.

"A church being robbed, three times, by the same person. A person that was hooked on heroine. And the last time that he robbed it, it was in broad daylight," Ausby said.

Ausby said the event welcomes those who are dealing with drug problems to find treatment that's right for them.

"I want everybody to take this personally and know that there is help out there. There is hope. There's hope because there is help," Ausby said."And we want everyone to know that that's why we have this forum."

The public is invited to the free event, which begins at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at the United Presbyterian Church. It includes a discussion from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.; a free dinner at 5 p.m.; and, a free concert at 6:30 p.m.