KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) – When Kokomo heads back to school on Wednesday, kids and adults alike will be joining communities across the country for National Night Out.
“Its one last time for them to have one more summer day before ol’ school starts so its great, it is great,” said Lance Williams.
This is the thirty second year for the national event where communities are encouraged to get out and meet with each other.
Its also a chance for residents to meet their police officers and discuss community crime issues.
“We have been working on community policing a lot in the last few years,” said Mayor Greg Goodnight.
Part of the approach will be on display tomorrow during the city’s National Night Out events.
“Our officers are there, they’re interacting with the residents. They’re cooking out there are games, prizes,” said Mayor Goodnight.
The city’s main event is at Kokomo Beach.
“You meet all these people, you make friends and stuff,” said Hunter Williams, as he prepares to go back to school.
“It shows the kids that the cops are involved in the community,” said Kandice Cook, who plans on attending with her daughter.
“I think its good, yeah,” said Christian Hall as he walked by Kokomo Beach. “Should definitely bring that relationship closer between the cops and the community.”
“We’ll come back throw some balls, meet new kids that we’ve never seen before and all of a sudden we’ll start playing a little ball in between there. I think its great for our community. I really do,” said Lance Williams.
National Night Out is just one way Mayor Greg Goodnight is trying to change policing.
His administration brought in bike and mounted patrols, and all new hires are required to live in the city.
“When police officers don’t live in the communities that they serve that they look at problems as maybe their problems as opposed to our problems and we want our officers to be part of the solution as well,” said Mayor Goodnight.
Mayor Goodnight says since he took office crime has gone down in Kokomo across the board by 24 percent.