TAMPA (FOX 13) - Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward says there is a lot of importance in connecting with young kids.
"This is the age where we need to reach our youth any involvement with our kids is how we build that bond," he said.
He had a similar mentality with all of his interactions at Tampa's National Night Out event. The chief stopped by three different locations Tuesday going one-on-one with the community.
"That's what we need to accomplish today making sure relationship between law enforcement and the community is solid," he said.
This year's National Night Out events come at a time where nationwide, there are perceived tensions between residents and law enforcement, the flames stoked by a number of high-profile cases of alleged police brutality.
"Every opportunity we have to interact with the public is a positive for us," said Chief Ward.
"We need it we need more of this," said resident DeAngelo Davis.
He's lived in the Tampa area all his life.
"We want to trust the people that in badges we do wholeheartedly it takes this and a lot of this," Davis said.
Chief Ward stressed police can’t do it on their own. He says to really bring down crime and keep Tampa safe, the community has to step up and stand with law enforcement.