East Hartford Police among thousands of communities celebrating National Night Out

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EAST HARTFORD -- A campaign which spans the country, National Night Out, was celebrated in more than two dozen Connecticut communities.

The nationwide community-building campaign is designed to bring police and community members together under positive circumstances to promote neighborhood camaraderie.

The East Hartford Police Department held its first National Night Out, Tuesday. More than 16-thousand communities across the nation held similar events.

"More often than not we meet people in an emergency setting," East Hartford Police Lt. Joshua Litwin said. " We need that partnership, that community partnership, so we need to get together in a non-emergency setting to have the opportunity to see that we’re people, we all have similar interests, were all on the same page."

The goal of the event is to build police-community partnerships to help make cities and towns more safe.

"If we all can get along as neighbors, crime rates go down," Lt. Litwin said. "Policing in the 21st century has changed a bit and an opportunity to do things like this where people can get to know us on a personal level, is proven invaluable."

The night also gave community members an opportunity to see what their police department has to offer. East Hartford Police had equipment on display, a police K-9 demonstration and a chance to see how fingerprints are collected.

The event featured a bounce house, dunk tank, give-a-ways, music, and arts and crafts for the kids.

National Night Out is designed to bring awareness to crime prevention, boost support for local anticrime efforts, strengthen the relationship between police and citizens and send a message to criminals that communities are organized to fight back, according to East Hartford Police.

"I hope they do this again, I really enjoyed it I think it's a positive event and the kids are enjoying it," East Hartford resident Diane Cheverria said.

Lt. Litwin said the event wouldn't be possible without donations and help from the community.

Other nearby communities that held National Night Out events include: Bloomfield, Bridgeport, Bristol, Broad Brook, East Hartford, Hamden, Hartford, Groton, Manchester, Meriden, Moosup, New Haven, New London, Newington, Norwalk, Norwich, Rockville, Stamford, Stratford, Torrington,  West Suffield, and Wethersfield.