Hartford Takes Part in ‘National Night Out'

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The City of Hartford took part in a national effort to help build trust between the police and the community.

Tuesday's event follows a violent week in Hartford, resulting in seven people shot and one death.

Twenty eight communities across the state took park in the effort called “National Night Out," and one of those places was Hartford.

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From the food to the fun, families checked out the event.

“We just wanted to come out and get the kids involved,” said Roxanne Allen of Bloomfield.

Allen and her family stopped by one of the five spots in the city which were part of "National Night Out." It was a chance for folks to hang out with police.

“I know there’s kind of this phobia with police officers now, so coming to meet them up close and personal and know they are humans too is kind of a good thing,” Allen said.

Organizers say the goal is to help strengthen relations between law enforcement and the community.

“This is a good opportunity for us to highlight what we kind of do all year long,” said Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody.

Thody said trust is important when it comes to everything from quality-of-life issues to violence. He said solving crimes can require neighborhood help.

“The relationships that you build here and in community meetings and at the other events, they pay it forward. So when you are out there looking for help on a case or so the community see a familiar face and it makes them more comfortable, makes them okay talking to us,” Thody said.

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Building these bonds is vital, according to Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. And he said it’s paying off for city safety and law enforcement.

“They’ve been taking more illegal guns off the street than ever before. They’ve been solving homicides and solving non-fatal shootings at a rate that is really a testament to the work they do, their professionalism and the partnerships they’ve built with the community,” Bronin said.

"National Night Out" has been around for 38 years and tens of millions of people were expected to take part in 16,000 communities.

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