OLIVE BRANCH, Miss., (localmemphis.com) – National Night Out is an annual nationwide event encouraging police and community relations. Mid-South police departments participated Tuesday by holding events for their precincts.
Olive Branch Police visited nine neighborhoods and passed out toys and snacks to kids. This was also a time for neighbors and police to share crime prevention ideas and boost morale.
Shirley Stewart of Chateau Ridge in Olive Branch said events like these are a good reminder that the police are there to protect and support the community.
“This is so very important to see the love they are showing our community, because most people think our community 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’s important for the police to give back to the communities and the people to give back to the police.
“Most people have such a negative vibe about police officers,” Stewart said. “This just goes to show there is good and bad in everybody. Our police officers are there to protect and serve and that’s what you can see.”
Stewart said she appreciates the Olive Branch police and, “without our officers, our neighborhood would not be the neighborhood that it is.”
Chief Don Gammage has been the police chief in Olive Branch for 11 years and said events like this can help eliminate crime and help the community better understand the duties of the police.
“We build that bond with our community and when things happen, we find out about things,” Gammage said.
Most importantly, this is a chance for the police to show they support their community no matter what.
“It’s very important for the community know that we are behind them,” Gammage said.
Dale Dickerson, alderman of Ward 6 in Olive Branch, said the police department has grown over the years and he appreciates the work that they have done to help prevent crime and build community relations.
“The police department has really progressed so much over the years from a small-town police department to one that is certified and doing an excellent job,” Dickerson said.
Memphis Police Department and Bartlett Police Department will hold National Night Out events on October 1st.