Across Memphis and the Mid-South neighbors came out in observance of National Night Out.
Each year city and community leaders hold community events to rally alongside first responders in the fight against crime.
Organizers talked to Local 24 about the importance of these annual events. And fighting crime in neighborhoods proved to be more important than battling the heat Tuesday.
Many local Night Out organizers simply moved activities indoors because they say it’s an important opportunity to bridge divides between law enforcement and community.
Kids came for the bounce house and the backpack full of supplies for the school year, but organizers at a National Night Out gathering in Raleigh said bringing families face to face with the police and firefighters in their communities is one of the ways to make their neighborhoods safer.
“We gotta make people feel safe in their neighborhoods and if you look around this room right now you see all kinds of activities for children, and if we can lift them up and love them, they’re going to grow up the right way,” said Memphis Mayor, Jim Strickland during the event.
State Representative Antonio Parkinson even brought along area school principals to greet everyone.
Rev. Charlie Caswell said National Night Out is just one of many ways The House Church engages with the Old Allen Station Police Precinct and that relationship has paid off.
“We have seen juvenile arrests go down,” said Caswell. “We have seen the murder rate go down. We had some of the highest numbers 2 years ago. 36 murder rate. Last year 19. I think we total around 7 now.”
If you missed any of the number of the National Night Out events, many communities hold similar events in October when outside temperatures are much cooler.