Kids check out police motorcycles, fire trucks at National Night Out celebrations

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HARTFORD -- Police departments nationwide  hosted National Night Out on Tuesday in an effort to build the relationship between the people of the community and the police officers who serve them.

National Night Out dates back to 1984.  It was established by the National Association of Town Watch with the intentions of building a partnership between police and the community.  It was initially funded by the U.S Department of Justice.

The events held during National Night Out are typically ones geared at community building, with cookouts, music, and a variety of family friendly activities.

Hartford police and firefighters attended several National Night Out events in the city, including one at the Boys and Girls Club on Asylum Hill. Kids got to go on a fire truck and a police motorcycle, as well as play in a bouncy castle and talk to their city's law enforcement officers.

"Any time we can get our officers to interact with kids in our city in a positive environment, it's somethign that we have to jump at and we do," said Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley.

He said, "It's no news what's going on nationally and a lot of the dialogue that's been talked about police officers and communities. Children in our city sometimes do see cops in a negative light or having to do with negative things. These types of things are much more important based on that."