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Springfield Celebrates National Night Out

Updated: Thursday, August 7 2014, 12:07 AM CDT
SPRINGFIELD -- Given recent violence in Springfield, police say events like National Night Out is a chance for neighbors to personally meet the officer patrolling their street.

That relationship can have a huge impact on crime in the neighborhoods they live in.

More than 100 people packed Enos Park as part of National Night Out. Live entertainment was just one piece of the puzzle. Block parties across the city hoped to improve neighborhood and police relationships.

"We just really wanna send the message that we are a very proactive neighborhood association and that we are looking out for each other and we are being vigilant not one night a year, but every night of the year," said Michelle Higginbotham from the Enos Park Neighborhood Improvement Association.

"Anytime the community is doing something I am like all for it," said Springfield resident, Karveta Broussard.

Broussard recently moved to a bigger home, but returned to Enos Park for the block party. She believes in police talking to neighbors, being more active than just patrolling the streets and working together with the community to have an impact on crime.

"I would hope that it would because a lot of the families in our communities do not like to welcome the police, but they don't understand that sometimes they have our best interest at heart too," said Broussard.

Springfield Police made stops at every block party across Springfield. Chief Kenny Winslow says it's about more than just getting to know local officers.

"This is a way that the community can get together people can get to know their neighbors to come out for comradery and you would be surprised how many people don't know their neighbors," said Chief Winslow.

Winslow says knowing who lives next door can help deter any criminal activity.

"The police can't be everywhere all the time. We really just can't, and the community to us is a force multiplier. They are our eyes and ears out there," said Chief Winslow.

Chief Winslow says neighbors who get together often create a crime watch program. He says that has proven to be a successful tool in the past to catch criminal activity.Springfield Celebrates National Night Out

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