Communities meet law enforcement at National Night Out
By Brittany Comak
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) - More than 1000 people from all over Providence spent time with law enforcement officers Tuesday night as part of the National Night Out.
The event aims to bring people and their law enforcement officers together in a positive setting since more often than not, public safety officials are there when things go wrong.
"For me and my kids, I wanted them to spend time in the environment, and also know the safety, all the safety lessons that they're showing here, and all the good things that there are in the city, not just the bad things," said Providence resident Gloria Molero.
Tuesday night's Providence event in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood has been going on for nearly two decades and continues to grow every year.
"I have three kids now so it's nice for them to know who the leaders of the community are, and also know that police officers are there to help us out," said resident Kerley Vinas.
In light of mass shootings in recent weeks, Police Chief Hugh T. Clements emphasized the importance of community policing.
"More than ever right now with people living in fear, and just these events that evoke that type of reaction in individuals that – what does it mean for them? 'Are we safe going to this community event?' Yes, you are," said Clements.
Even the youngest attendees Tuesday night took notice.
"I like that they're nice," said Jenna Marks.
"It makes you feel safe," said Cedric St. Hill.
Chief Clements also called tonight's event just as rewarding for the officers, as it is for the young children, who maybe met an officer for the very first time Tuesday night.
"Every time we interact with somebody we hope that they realize that we're human beings, and certainly that there's a personality and a heart behind the badge," said Director of Mounted Command Steven Courville.