Officers meet with community on National Night Out - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Officers meet with community on National Night Out

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CARTERVILLE, Ill. -- Officers across the country aimed to connect with their communities and strengthen relationships as part of a "National Night Out" campaign.

Carterville Police participated in a "National Night Out" event at the Carterville Community Center, where dozens of families showed up to also participate. Groups handed out school supplies while officers engaged with community members in an effort to strengthen ties.

"I just think that it's awesome that the communities do this," said Terri Wynn, of Crainville.

Wynn came out with her Love & Truth Church community, and to watch her son Officer Jeremy Wynn meet with the youth and hold a canine demonstration. While she's a proud mother, she constantly thinks about safety.

"It's overwhelming to know that my son does that and he's out there everyday protecting the community and protecting anyone in need," Wynn said.

She and officers like Angelo Hightower stress the importance of healthy relationships between police and neighbors, to promote safety for everyone.

"All too often when we go to neighborhoods it's us engaging some type of negative activity and we just like to communicate and interact with the public when no one is in trouble and I think that's very important," Hightower said. "It helps to bridge the disconnect between the police and the community."

Officers say strengthening ties with the community doesn't just fall on this one day and the support from the community helps them fight crime throughout neighborhoods.

"I just think that it's important for people to be able to relate to police officers and know that we're human just like them," Hightower said. "I just want us to interact and this is our community as well. A lot of officers live in the communities that they serve in and I just think that we're all in this together."

Whether it's "National Night Out" or any other night of the year, they hope to see stronger relationships in the community to keep the streets safer.

"Just come together as a community because that's what we're here for, to be here for each other, the good times and the bad times, tough times, just get out and have fun together," Wynn said.

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