LANSING, Mich. — From work, to the polls, to a neighborhood party, Tuesday was packed with things to do in mid-Michigan, and National Night Out ended it all.
Friends, families and neighbors took to their neighborhood streets in Lansing to celebrate a night out together.
“This is a chance for all of our neighborhoods throughout the city to get together and socialize and eat some hot dogs and burgers, and it's great,” said Lansing Mayor Andy Schor.
Schor said it was exciting seeing people get together after the tough times during the past two years.
"It's even more special now because we're coming out of the pandemic," Schor said. "We couldn't do this for so many years, you kind of took it for granted that we could come here.”
While Tuesday night was about meeting new people, that also included Lansing Police Department officers like Chief Ellery Sosebe and Genesee Neighborhood Community Ofc. Tori Brooks.
“This brings everyone out to understand kind of truly what are the relationships mean between the neighborhood, the community and the police department,” Sosebe said.
“This is what you want to be in this special assignment for, you know, it gives us an opportunity to get out and just talk to people one on one and just have them feel more comfortable and approach us on maybe not like a call to call basis,” Brooks said.
Sosebe said National Night Out is a way for community members to have positive interactions with police officers.
“It really shows that not every interaction that we have, that anybody has with the police department is has to be a negative one. It also gives us an opportunity to showcase our what we have to offer our resources that we have here in the police department,” Sosebe said.
And having these face to face interactions again in the community is important.
“There's a face behind this this badge and this uniform, and we want everybody to know that you know that we're all the same just because we wear a uniform doesn't mean anything," Sosebe said. "On the other hand, that we are their police department and we want to be there for them.”
Brooks said getting out to community events like this for a longer period of time helps people be more comfortable when they need to call the police.
“They can kind of see our personality, whereas like, if we're going to call the call, you're only going to see us for a brief moment of time," Brooks said. "So being able to just get out and talk to people like this, I think is way more meaningful and just builds up a better relationship and it's better for everybody.”
About 16,000 communities worldwide participated in this year's National Night Out.
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