PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tuesday is National Night Out, an event that aims to improve police-community relations. The Philadelphia Police Department’s top cop held a preview event Monday, saying this year’s National Night Out is a time to show unity.
“The community can definitely expect to see us out there,” Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said.READ MORE: CBS3 Mysteries: Don Ly's Children Continue To Search For Answers After Father's American Dream Ended In Deadly Stabbing In South Philadelphia
Outlaw is encouraging neighbors and families across the city to come together with police and attend the National Night Out Tuesday.
“Let’s establish some relationships, let’s learn and know who we are by name, let’s learn who the human beings are behind the uniform, behind the badge. And let’s learn who it is who lives behind the four walls,” Outlaw said.
As the city’s police commissioner spoke at Fairhill Square Park in North Philly, National Night Out’s founder handed out Ring doorbell cameras.
“In my 38 years of doing this, I’ve never seen the level of enthusiasm for National Night Out as I’m seeing right now,” founder Matt Peskin said.
Neighbors in Fairhill are looking forward to the annual event.READ MORE: Camden County Businesses, Officials Worry As Heavy Rains, Flooding Become More Common
“To connect and build a community you have to work together as a team. It’s like football, I played football in college. The left guard, if he’s messed up, it’s not gonna work. So that’s part of the team — the cops, the people,” resident William Green said.
Last year’s Night Out came during a surge in gun violence in the city.
Now, just ahead of this year’s event, Philadelphia has the highest murder rate per capita of the country’s 10 largest cities. CBS3 asked Commissioner Outlaw about that.
“It’s not information that makes me feel good by any means. Obviously, Philadelphia’s very unique,” she said. “Public safety is the police department’s responsibility. Obviously, the police department falls under me so it doesn’t make me feel good but events such as National Night Out is an opportunity to get out amongst the community and say this is time to take our neighborhoods back.”
Outlaw also says to do that, officers should meet and learn the names of neighbors and neighbors should also get to know officers who patrol their communities and help report crimes.MORE NEWS: Upper Darby Police Investigating Death Of Newborn Found In Bag
Click here to find a National Night Out event near you.