RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The 34th annual National Night Out is coming up on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, but the Richmond Police Department is not waiting that long to strengthen its relationship with the community.
Today Chief Alfred Durham joined officers at the Forest Hill Target for a kickoff event with the United States Army.
“It gives that personal side of the police officers and what they can personally do to help the citizens,” says Nicole Jackson, who moved to Richmond about six months ago.
Adds Sgt. Carol Adams, “We get to have just general normal everyday conversations with individuals, and they get to ask those police questions that are burning at their hearts because most people don’t know actually what we do except for what they see on the tv or what they hear from somebody else.”
On National Night Out, Richmond officers will be spread out across the city, but this celebration gave people of all ages from every neighborhood a chance to come to them for fun activities.
“It gives us an opportunity to interact with those in the community that we don’t get to see day in and day out,” explains Lt. Ken Roane.
Author and life-long Richmond resident Robin Black White brought her personal experiences with domestic violence and drugs to show others that telling the truth can set them free.
“To help the Richmond City Police is to get other people in the community to just share their stories,” she says. “You never know, you may be that inside tip to something that they’ve been trying to track down just by sharing your story.”
There is a hope among the crowd that relationships started at this event do not end at this event.
So far, there are 96 National Night Out neighborhood celebrations scheduled within the City of Richmond. Monday is the deadline to register an event at this link.
“If you’re having something we encourage that you invite us because we want to be a part of everything that you’re having and that you’re doing,” says Lt. Roane.