Police and local communities brought together by National Night Out
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash.- During the string of shooting and homicides in Yakima County, people said that building up the community is the only way to stop all the violence.
Police are trying to do just that tonight for National Night Out all over Yakima County.
Missy Maki, Selah Police Department, help put this event together in hopes to let people meet their neighbors.
"If they learn about each other and meet each other you're more apt to looking out after each other that way and that is what national night out is really about. Taking the streets back from crime," she said.
Police and the community coming together makes national night out possible.
The event has been around since 1984 after the National Association of Town Watch started it on the first Tuesday of August.
Free food is usually involved and agencies from around the area give back to the people they serve.
It gives people the chance to come out and see what police are like when they aren't trying to keep the streets safe.
"To be able to sit and talk with them, ask them questions, feel more comfortable with them. It's huge," Maki said.
"The police are a great resource and a great partner for us, but they can only be so many places at once and it really takes the community working together."
Over in Yakima people in the community are putting together their own events with police.
Lance Reese is the owner of Bearded Monkey Cycling and he held a “party ride” with the Yakima police department.
The ride went through the historic Barg-Chestnut neighborhood and it gave people the chance to not only meet the police, but other living in the area.
"Get to know their neighbors, that it increases that sense of community, increases safety in the communities," he said.
Reese says his store helps maintain some of the YPD's bike unit and is glad that they are back.
It gives people a chance to interact with police as people, instead of the police car that you see patrolling the streets.
"It's really broken that down and allowed that engagement to increase," Reese said.
There are more events going on throughout the week. Check in with your local police departments to find out which days.