Communities around the state took part in National Night Out Tuesday, which brought together first responders and residents.
It’s an effort to build safer neighborhoods by having a little fun.
For about 15 years Meriden has hosted an event and thousands were expected to show up at Hubbard Park.
“It’s a great opportunity to get together and get to know each other,” said Sgt. Chris Fry of the Meriden Police Department.
In Manchester, Hartford and Waterbury, residents also got a chance to build trust with police officers, firefighters and ambulance crews.
“It was pretty cool seeing them. You know, having them protect everyone. Keeping everyone safe,” said Devon Diaz of Meriden.
Outside the Pitkin Community Center in Wethersfield, Sgt. Mike Fisher didn’t mind getting a little wet by taking part in a dunk tank if it helps others see police in a different light.
“It’s important to have a police relationship that fosters the ability to work together because we really rely on the public as an information source and to make it a safer community,” Fisher said.
Amid all the family fun, entertainment and demonstrations, there were moments of gratitude and hope relations were strengthened for the future.
“It’s really building bonds with them and keeping that bond going. It’s very, very important for our neighborhoods,” said Holly Wills, president of the Council of Neighborhoods in Meriden.
National Night Out was established 35 years ago. It’s now celebrated by millions of people in thousands of communities across the country.