National Night Out builds relationships between police officers, community

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – The annual National Night Out event to promote positive neighborhood relationships kicked off once again.

Here in Sioux City, people can plays games with police officers and get to know members of neighborhood network.

One Sioux City Police sergeant told KCAU this event is especially crucial in building relationships with the community now more than ever.

“I have my own family and my own children. To have a neighborhood where the police and citizens can interact and have a peaceful get together and a peaceful event, not just this one but many others throughout the years it’s just a positive feeling and it’s great to be a part of it,” Sgt. Ryan Bertrand said.

Sgt. Bertrand with the Sioux City Police Department said with some negative attention regarding police relations recently in the national spotlight, being a part of National Night Out is a reflection of this department’s dedication to the community. He adds hopefully the officers become positive role models for children in the area.

“We normally have eight locations around our city where individual groups have block parties and the neighbors can come in and meet the neighbors, they can come in and meet local police officers, fire fighters and so this year we wanted to make it COVID safe and have an event that was kind of hybrid,” Rick Arnold, president of Sioux City Neighborhood Network, said.

He said National Night Out is a fun event with food and games for everyone, but ultimately, the goal is to make Sioux City a safer place to live.

“The main thing about having this National Night Out is to try and get people in the neighborhoods to see who is your neighbor. What kind of people you live by. And also have a relationship with our police officers which is really important right now with what’s going on,” said Janet Reynolds, who leads Jones St. Neighborhood Coalition.

She said by having coalitions and events like National Night Out, residents and especially children can feel comfortable around police officers.

“It is our community together. It isn’t a, we’re not separate groups, we’re all together in this, so let’s work together and make the very best community that we can and let’s keep that going,” Sgt. Bertrand said.

Because of COVID-19, there was only one location this year in Riverside.

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