August 3, 2021

National Night Out Aims To Reduce Violence

Community members were honored at the kickoff event. (Jill Sheridan WFYI)

Community members were honored at the kickoff event. (Jill Sheridan WFYI)

A kick off for the annual National Night Out was held in Indianapolis Tuesday.

Now in its 38th year, the night offers an opportunity for police and community members to connect. The night out event is held in communities across the country on the first Tuesday of August. Marion County Sheriff Kerry Forestall said it’s been positive.

“And it’s gleeful and hopefully it is tonight, so that somebody doesn’t shoot somebody tonight,” Forestall said. ”We need positive messages in the community and not more bodies in the morgue.”

National Night Out was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.  This year Indianapolis joins other cities dealing with record levels of violent crime.

Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said the event provides opportunity. 

“This truly is our opportunity to interact with the community and have those conversations with the community about what’s going on,” Mears said.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said it’s essential that all Indianapolis residents are aware of crime prevention programs in their communities.

“Resident participation in these efforts can make a difference,” Hogsett said, “a significant difference, and impact on reducing crime.”

The kickoff also honored community crime fighters who have helped reduce crime through a variety of efforts including services for people experiencing homelessnes, substance abuse programs and quality of life improvements.

More than 50 Night Out events were planned in Marion County.

Contact WFYI city government and policy reporter Jill Sheridan at jsheridan@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @JillASheridan.

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