As strained relationships between law enforcement and the public continue to make headlines, over 16,000 communities participated in National Night Out.
National Night Out is a nation wide effort for local law enforcement and the residents they serve to establish a relationship; which in turn, hopes to prevent crime.
Throughout the country, National Night Out is held the first week in August. However, in Texas it occurs on the first Tuesday of October. This year that Tuesday was Oct. 4.
The TCU police department hosted National Night Out in the Brown-Lupton University Union. Two TCU police officers, including crime prevention officer Pam Christian, attended National Night Out as well as multiple Fort Worth police officers, four Fort Worth firefighters from Station 21, and two district attorneys.
Christian said National Night Out allows the community and law enforcement to come together and discuss safety and other issues.
“[National Night Out is to] just kind of help each other get to know one another and find out what their needs are, what the communities needs are,” Christian said.
Faith Langenberg, first year political science and history major, said having a personal relationship with law enforcement builds trust between residents and officers.
“I think just having a personal relationship builds trust and you know you feel like comfortable going to them if you need anything so,” said Langenberg.
One of the main goals of National Night Out is to help prevent future crime.
Christian said relationships between law enforcement and residents helps to curb crime.
“The more knowledgeable you are about the comings and goings of the neighborhood, that gives you more insight on what should and shouldn’t be there,” said Christian.
Part of personal safety is being aware of the closest police and fire stations as well as knowing what number to call and when.
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Crimes on the TCU campus should first be reported to the TCU police department.
Langenberg said, “They [TCU] always say to call TCU police first, so I probably would just because they say that’s going to get help to you faster. But I’d feel comfortable calling either [TCU or Fort Worth police].”
The TCU police station, their jurisdiction, as well as the closest Fort Worth police and fire stations can be seen on this map.
National Night Out occurs once a year. However, the goal is for the relationships established and information gained to have a lasting impact on the community.