Local law enforcement agencies are reaching out to the community as part of the 29th annual National Night Out—sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and Target—which is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 2 in Texas. The event began in 1984 as a way to heighten awareness of local anti-crime efforts and to promote the partnership with law-enforcement and the community, said Sgt. Yvonne Cooper with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
"This event strengthens neighborhood spirits and the law enforcement and citizen relationship," she said. "It also sends a message to criminals to say 'we are working together and we have each other's back.' We are all do busy these days—this is an opportunity to help people get out and get to know their neighbors."
Law enforcement agencies in the City of Tomball are taking part with a community-wide cookout and "Roll Call Presentation" on Tuesday at the Tomball Historic Depot Plaza. Representatives from the Tomball Fire Department, Tomball Police Department and Northwest Rural Emergency Medical services along with Target, will interact with the community and bring fire engines and vehicles for residents to explore.
Sgt. Rebecca Carlisle with the Tomball PD said every year the department receives positive feedback from the community because the event's games and activities are fun for children, while information is also provided for adults. Toward the end of the event law enforcement will lead a candlelight vigil.
"We are doing this event with all first responders in the city because it's important for the community to see we want to interact with them," Carlisle said. "We want to open our doors to them."
Fire department Chief Randy Parr said participating in the event allows his department to interact with residents in a low-stress environment where they can get to know responders near their neighborhoods.
"Usually when we show up at someone's house, they've had a pretty bad day," Parr said. "At [National Night Out] we can show our equipment and introduce people to the firefighters assigned to fire stations near their homes."
According to the town watch association, the event is a community-building campaign designed to heighten crime prevention awareness and bring community members and law enforcement together.
The Tomball National Night Out celebration runs from 6–8 p.m.