WACO, Texas (FOX 44) — National Night Out is coming up and it is one of the yearly celebrations that police departments across Central Texas use to get to know their community.
“It’s just an opportunity for public safety professionals to meet the citizens, talk about maybe concerns that may be taking place and for our local businesses,” Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin said.
National Night Out was started in August of 1984 after the creation of the National Association of Town Watch.
It began with front porch vigils and symbolic efforts and has now grown to block parties, cookouts, and other ways the community celebrates their relationships with law enforcement.
“For the most part, you know, a police department is there to respond to calls when something bad has happened,” Waco Police Officer Sophie Martinez said. “National Night Out provides us the opportunity to go out and engage with the community, but also to give the community an opportunity to tell us things that they are seeing in their neighborhoods, problems, questions they may have of us.”
Waco police will host a celebration on Tuesday, October 4 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Officers will visit the different parties that have registered with the department. This is also what Temple police will be doing from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the fourth.
Woodway Public Safety Department will be a little different, hosting two celebrations with the officers rotating between the two areas.
“Ours is October 4th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Whitehall Park and at Polk Park,” Assistant Chief Khalil El-Halabi told FOX 44 News. “And we’re going to have, like I said, Bush’s chickens. We’re going to have an advocacy center is going to be out there as well, passing out information at the constables office is going to be out there and just little booths like that so individuals can meet their public servants.”
Hewitt will be hosting their celebration early, on Saturday, October 1 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Warren Park.
Despite each department celebrating their own way, they all agree it’s one of the best ways for them to bond with their communities.