INDIANAPOLIS — Tuesday is National Night Out, and police departments across the country will take part in community events to build better relationships with neighborhoods.
There will be several events right here in central Indiana.
Event coordinators from Southport Police Department and IMPD say it’s important for their officers to get out there and have personal face to face time to build good relationships with the community.
IMPD officer Samone Burris says all the events across our area will be educational for the officers and the community.
Last year, IMPD wasn’t able to host the traditional night out because of COVID, so Burris says they are looking forward to bringing it back.
She says it’s important for the officers to get that facetime with the community, especially with the recent rise in crime and violence the city has seen. They’ll get together and tackle tough questions or topics they may not have been comfortable to do in other settings.
“This is the community members saying, ‘Hey, we are interested in fostering these relationships and building a better community,’” said Burris.
“This creates that moment for us as law enforcement agencies to meet our community where they are and continue to build upon those conversations that will in turn, bring down the crime in our area.”
Southport will host what Chief Tom Vaughn is calling a big community party.
“For me, I call it a big party where we all have a good time, we get to know each other and we get to meet on a more personal level and be able to hear some of the problems that we might not hear if we didn’t all get together,” said Chief Vaughn.
He says it’s important for officers to meet on a more personal level and not just when someone is in trouble.
“A lot of times as a police officer, we’re either being called to your house for a problem that you’re having, or it’s a traffic stop. Most of the time we meet the community it’s not on good terms, not always for them. So, this is an opportunity for us, to like I said, show them our human side. We’re all human, it’s a job we have to do, but we’re really normal everyday people.”
There will also be events going on in: