WACO, Texas — The night of October 5th is National Night out in the Lone Star State, a community-building campaign that promotes police and community partnerships.
The night is all about community and connecting law enforcement to those that they protect.
“Our officers and the community can just meet with each other one on one in a bit more of a relaxed and casual kind of way,” Cierra Shipley, Public Information Officer for the Waco Police Department, said.
It's a time for the public and police officers to come together as people to help strengthen relationships.
“They are there to protect and serve them and going out into these individual neighborhoods, talking with the community one on one, outside of our daily work and our daily job that our officers do,” Shipley said.
The annual night takes place every first Tuesday of October throughout Texas neighborhoods and since the pandemic, officers are more than ready to get back out into the community.
“COVID has given us less opportunity to interact so we want to strengthen those relationships and get those back,” Antonia McDaniel, Commander for the Killeen Police Department, said.
In Killeen, neighborhoods will be hosting block parties and welcoming in officers.
“We go in grand fashion, with lights flashing, we have stickers for children, we have our bikes out there riding around,” McDaniel said.
While in Waco, police officers will be stationed around 14 different neighborhoods, inviting community members to talk, voice concerns and just get to know one another.
“Our officers want to be friends with the community, they want to get out, they want to know who they are serving,” Shipley said.
Along with strengthening relationships with neighborhoods, National Night Out is all about representing a unified front against crime in the community.
“This gave us an opportunity to meet in a much more favorable condition. We get the chance to get to know you, we get to hear your concerns and we can address those concerns," McDaniel said.
To find out more about the events or locations going on tonight in your community you can visit your police department's social media pages.