PINELLAS PARK (FOX 13) - Taking a stand against crime - while having fun - was the goal of National Night Out Tuesday.
In Pinellas Park – the community helped build a stronger bond between officers and residents.
Baird "I think it's wonderful that they were able to bring this many resources together in one place,” Angela Baird said, looking at the crowd that gathered to talk about police work, ambulances, and the emergency services helicopter that landed near the Target on U.S. 19.
“Our annual National Night Out - It is a national event that is held usually in August of every year. This is the Pinellas Park's version. Bringing the community together to discuss crime prevention, to bring the barriers down, to bring the walls down and just have an open dialogue with the community that we serve,” explained Adam Geissenberger with Pinellas Park PD.
It is also a chance for police to send a message to criminals: Their neighborhoods are united with law enforcement to fight crime.
“I think it's important for them to see this, where they can come out, touch a truck, see a horse, see a dog and just see what these guys do on a regular basis,” Baird said.
It was a night for family to watch law enforcement officers demonstrate how they fight crime and keep the community safe.
“The ability for them to come out here and touch the dogs, touch our special equipment, touch officers, it's goes a long way, and it breaks down that barrier or those pre-conceived notions that these children may have when interacting with law enforcement,” Geissenberger said.
The Pinellas Park Police Community Redevelopment Policing Unit gave out 225 school backpacks filled with school supplies to the first 225 children at the event.
“It's very heartwarming. It gets me excited. As adults, we get kind of numb to the things that happen around us, so to be able to see it through our children’s eyes is always a welcome feeling,” Baird said.
The event included demonstrations from K9 units, SWAT, a fire rescue extraction demonstration, bicycle giveaways, and a raffle.