INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Neighborhood groups across central Indiana gathered for National Night Out.
The annual event brought police officers and residents together in their neighborhoods. The night allowed the police to interact with and educate the public.
“It makes it easy because the investment is there. When we come out, we know each other and we are not strangers,” said Indianapolis Metropolitan Department Police Chief, Rick Hite.
In Hendricks County, the Avon Police Department organized its first ever National Night Out event.
Avon Police Chief Sean Stoops said it gave the community an opportunity to have fun and get to know local officers on a personal level.
“It’s all a part of community policing and making sure there’s an open line of communication between police and our residents,” Police Chief Stoops said. “If that breaks down, we’re not going to know about crime that might be taking place in our community and our residents aren’t going to know proper ways to help prevent that crime.”
In Fishers, 24-Hour News 8 met a woman who said her brother is going into law enforcement.
Heather Rider said although she’s lived all over the country, this is the first community where she felt so much was done to engage the community.
“Obviously, some police officers get a bad rap,” Rider said. “This is a good way for them to kind of bridge that gap, and you know, remind us that they’re people too, and we’re all in this together.”
Crime is one of the top issues in the race to become the next mayor of Indianapolis. That means that both the Republican and Democratic candidates are attending National Night Out events.
Joe Hogsett, the Democratic candidate, was on the southeast side of Indianapolis to share his thoughts on crime. His largest platform has been fighting crime.
Chuck Brewer, the Republic candidate, was also at a few events on Tuesday night.
Lawrence Mayor Dean Jessup made an announcement during National Night Out.
Jessup declared August “Law Enforcement Month.”
“It’s an effort that I think is well worth my time because it gives those neighbors an opportunity to see I’m part of the community too,” Jessup said. “I’m not just someone sitting in an office somewhere, dictating their world. I need their input.”
New Whiteland celebrated almost 10 years of participating in National Night Out on Tuesday. The police chief told 24-Hour news 8 that the event grows every year, and that it is a good reminder for the community.
The goal for the evening was to make sure people knew that they had to take care of each other, and that communities needed to stick together.
Debbie Laird participated in the Westfield National Night Out, to honor the memory of her son, Jake, a police officer who was killed in the line of duty. She wanted to use the opportunity to raise awareness and money for the law enforcement foundation in the city.
Police Captain Charles Hollowell told 24-Hour News 8 that support was valuable with so many budget cuts to their department. He also said that Jake’s story is a reminder to help build and keep the bond, between law enforcement and the communities they serve, strong.