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WEB EXTRA: National Night Out helps improve police and community relations across the Mid-South

National Night Out is an annual nationwide event encouraging police and community relations. Mid-South police departments participated Tuesday by holding events...

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss., (localmemphis.com) – National Night Out is anannual nationwide event encouraging police and community relations. Mid-Southpolice departments participated Tuesday by holding events for their precincts.

Olive Branch Police visited nine neighborhoods and passed out toysand snacks to kids. This was also a time for neighbors and police to sharecrime prevention ideas and boost morale.

Shirley Stewart of Chateau Ridge in Olive Branch said events likethese are a good reminder that the police are there to protect and support thecommunity. 

“This is so very important tosee the love they are showing our community, because most people think ourcommunity is forgotten, but this goes to show we are not forgotten,”Stewart said.

Stewart has lived in Chateau Ridge for over 30 years and said it’simportant for the police to give back to the communities and the people to giveback to the police. 

“Most people have such a negative vibe about policeofficers,” Stewart said. “This just goes to show there is good andbad in everybody. Our police officers are there to protect and serve and that’swhat you can see.”

Stewart said she appreciates the Olive Branch police and, “without our officers, ourneighborhood would not be the neighborhood that it is.”

ChiefDon Gammage has been the police chief in Olive Branch for 11 years andsaid events like this can help eliminate crime and help the community betterunderstand the duties of the police.

“We build that bond with our community and when things happen,we find out about things,” Gammage said. 

Mostimportantly, this is a chance for the police to show they support theircommunity no matter what. 

“It’svery important for the community know that we are behind them,” Gammagesaid.

Dale Dickerson, alderman of Ward 6 in Olive Branch, said thepolice department has grown over the years and he appreciates the work thatthey have done to help prevent crime and build community relations. 

“The police department hasreally progressed so much over the years from a small-town police department toone that is certified and doing an excellent job,” Dickerson said.

Memphis Police Department and Bartlett Police Department will holdNational Night Out events on October 1st.