The National Night Out event gives the public an inside look at the job of local safety agencies

Local

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — In the wake of mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton and Chicago, local law enforcement in the TriState came together to give members of the community an inside look at the work they do.

“We’re here to support the kids, let them know they’re going to have a safe school year, this is a great kick off to the school year. We get a lot of kids saying they don’t want to go, some kids saying they do want to go. We’re here no matter what the case, we as the community have your back, and us as the law enforcement have your back and your safety in mind,” said EPD Officer Philip Smith. 

The event takes place every year with the goal of bringing the community and local agencies together for a conversation about public safety.

“The police department has been doing this since 1995 and over the years there’s been more trust and there’s still a whole lot that needs to be done, but I think overall this event helps that,” said Linda Jones. 

There was food, music, obstacle courses and one firefighter transformed into TriState’s very own friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.  

“They have a portable fire extinguisher system set up that’s very safe for youth to use, the kids love that. And hopefully again the kids never have to use a fire extinguisher but in the case that they would, obviously it’s going to be a big help for them to do that,” said Linda Jones.

While he says he hopes nobody ever has to call 9-1-1, Larson says he hopes the event helps people feel more comfortable reaching out when they need help.

“If that small child has a memory of this night and knows that we’re good people, we’re normal people and we’re here to help, it’s just a bonus,” said Larson. 

Members of the military were also there, giving kids the chance to put their pilot skills to the test with a flight simulator.

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(This story was originally published on August 6, 2019)

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