The Joplin Police Department celebrated their National Night Out event tonight

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JOPLIN, MO – The Joplin Police Department spent the evening interacting with the community.

Tonight was the national night out event at Schifferdecker Park

The police department says events like this help build relationships with the community.

“I think what it does is builds a bigger trust. There’s a lot of negativity out there and something like this is positive and this is what we need.” Says Erick Torres, Joplin Resident.

Tuesday night the Joplin Police Department was in Schifferdecker Park hosting their annual National Night Out.

“Many times the only time you’ll run into a police officer is in a critical moment of your life. We like to build those relationships ahead of time to let people know what we do, what our job is, and just get that interaction so we can build those relationships.” Says Sloan Rowland, Joplin Police Chief.

Police officers were cooking, holding K-9 and SWAT demonstrations.

Chief Rowland says they see a good response after these events.

“I think the community needs to know we are out there 24/7 protecting them. We are serving your community. We are your aunts and uncles, your brothers, your neighbors. We’re part of your community and we would like the citizens to know that. We serve this community, most of us live in this community and work in this community and we are people you know on an everyday basis.” Rowland says.

Residents say it’s a great way for the community and police to have positive interactions.

“I think it’s just the fact that law enforcement really wants to come out here and meet everybody. And plus, it’s a way for them to calm down from their everyday hustle and bustle to come out here and relax.” Torres says.

Kids were able to sit in police cars, SWAT cars, and see firetrucks.

“I really like to see the K-9’s because they’re my favorite dog breed.” Says Sebastian Smith, Joplin Resident.

“I wanted to learn about the police officers and I’m really enjoying to learn about them. This is just a fun place to be.” Says Angela Murray, Joplin Resident.

Tonight’s event was part of a national effort to have communities interact to prevent crime.

The Joplin Police Department says they hope to hold more interactive events in the future.

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