National Night Out takes on bigger meaning in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Traditionally, National Night Out events include neighborhood gatherings, but after losing two officers in the line of duty in the past year, Indianapolis is doing more on this special day.

Before those events get underway, law enforcement leaders took a moment to thank those who have made a big impact in those communities and re-introduce a long-time crime fighter.

“If you would take time to attend National Night Out, not just to show your support against crime, but also to show your support for the men and women of IMPD,” Public Safety Director Troy Riggs said.

Some of the biggest names in Indianapolis kick-off National Night Out for the 31st time.

“I think tonight is a good example of open spaces and safe places for us to congregate in fellowship, bring our grills out, it’s going to be great evening and good night,” IMPD Chief Rick Hite said.

“People standing up, saying this is our neighborhood and we want it to be safe and we’re going to work together to make sure,” Mayor Greg Ballard.

It’s an opportunity to get to know neighbors and the officers in your area. At Garfield Park the neighborhood association is planning a party for more than 100 people.

“You get to know who your neighbors are, you get to learn their car, you get to learn their hours, just like a criminal, except you’re there to try to help them, do the right thing and to protect the neighborhood,” Julie Bush said.

That’s the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police is reintroducing McGruff the Crime Dog to the city today.

“While McGruff is out tonight during national night out, he will be accompanied by uniformed officer with the northwest district who will then be there to talk to the children and to really carry on that dialect,” said FOP Vice President Rick Synder.

Because police say they need everyone to be a part of crime prevention and on the one-month anniversary of Officer Perry Renn’s death, now is a great time to solidify that stance.

“Tonight, as we show criminals and we show the rest of the nation that here in Indianapolis we stand united. Say thank you to the police officer that believes that your life and your safety is more important than his own or her own,” Riggs said.

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