SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)- National night out is a nationwide effort between police and the community. The event is an effort to make neighborhoods safer and improve community relations.
It’s a chance for those who protect and serve, to take a night off and just be regular civilians.
“We want National Night Out to not just be one night, we want this to be something that continues,” said Savannah Police Chief, Roy Minter. “Something that neighborhoods can build on and we as a police department can build on as far as establishing stronger relationships with members of our community.
Local officials, community leaders, and even kids came out for the event. They enjoyed refreshments, games, and some casual conversation.
“I just think that the one-on-one contact, not just talking to the 911 operator, but the one-on-one contact makes the resident feel like they belong to the solution,” said Cristiana Turner with the Downtown Neighborhood Association.
That’s exactly what neighborhood resource officers like William Barnett are hoping comes from the event.
“We need the cooperation of neighborhoods, we need the cooperation of our neighbors and citizens who work here,” said Officer Barnett. “With that information, we are able to solve crimes a lot better and make a much more effective difference.”
Officers here want neighbors to be part of crime prevention and not be afraid to speak up.
“I think, also, the police understand where we are coming from and they trust a lot of us,” said Brad Christman with Gordonston Neighborhood Association. “When we say something is going on they are a little more trusting to looking into it than if they didn’t know us off the street.”
Citizens in attendance said the event makes citizens feel heard.
“The citizens feel like they have a voice and that the police department is listening and protecting their property, and their lives,” said Turner.
Savannah police made their rounds through thirteen different neighborhoods Tuesday night. They said this year was a great turnout and they’re hoping to keep the tradition going next year.