Posted: Tuesday, August 5, 2014 --- 10:25pm
Tuesday night, folks all over the country are coming together, side by side with law enforcement, from New York City to Beloit, WI, for National Night Out, a campaign that's about more than just the food.
Neighbors gathered with other neighbors along with police officers in Beloit at over two dozen spots in the city. Residents got a chance to chat with officers in a light many of them may not have been accustomed to.
"They don't always see us as a normal guy or gal. And it's important for us to engage them at a level that, we're on an even playing field” says Beloit Police Department Captain William Tyler.
Recently, crime has taken a familiar face in Beloit. The latest incident was a deadly shooting this past Saturday at the city's Summit Park.
Tyler says in order to reduce crime, the department must actively communicate with residents. "That always requires us to engage the community, engage those who live in neighborhoods” says Tyler.
It's something Alexis Haenel and her fellow neighbors strongly believe in and have seen work first-hand. “Recently something happening and one of our neighbors saw and just called up she was actually able to help find the people that had broke into a house” Haenel tells NBC 15.
Tuesday's event is just one step closer to a safer community, and used as a way to show the bad guys that residents and local officers are not going to put up with the violence.
"We need the community to be able to step forward and let us know what is going on to better manage some of those problem area within the community” says Tyler.