MARION CO., Ind. – National Night Out parties can number into the thousands in cities and towns across America.
But not in Lawrence and Indianapolis.
The unique approach of both police departments meets the communities where they are.
Instead of having one central location, they encourage communities to each plan their own celebrations.
The goal is to engage communities near their own homes and hopefully reach the people who might not have traveled to meet them.
Some residents hosting events Tuesday night say they believe that strategy works.
“Somebody may have a problem calling the police about it, but if you know who you’re talking to, it makes It a lot easier,” said Dean Myers, the president of the River Oaks neighborhood association in Lawrence. “I think the community itself is a lot safer because of it.”
That view means a lot to Lawrence police chief David Hoffmann this year. He believes their mission was especially important this year as NNO celebrations were held at the same time as services for IMPD’s Deputy Chief of Investigations, Jim Waters.
“This is exactly what he stood for,” said Hoffman. “He was all about community engagement, to reaching out to less fortunate, to building trust between police and the citizens that we serve.”
With the fun over, now comes the hard work of maintaining the relationships both police departments started and continued building tonight.