Residents express gratitude toward police officers during National Night Out

Updated: Aug. 2, 2022 at 10:15 PM CDT
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MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WIFR) - Residents across the nation and in Winnebago county spend a night out with area law enforcement and talk to local police officers about their pledge for a safer community.

National Night Out is an annual campaign with police departments to build a positive relationship with the community. More than 130 areas in Illinois participate in this year’s event including Machesney Park.

“We want to touch base with them more on a personal level other than going on a scene or we want to just meet with them, spend time with the community reengage and have a fun family night to bring everyone together,” says Organizer and Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Frank Pobjecky.

Around 100 people met local police and fire personnel to hear what was on the community’s minds.

“Like Sheriff Caruana says. If you see something say something. This is the perfect time to connect with us and let us know what you are seeing.”

Winnebago county Sheriff Gary Caruana also met with several residents who express their gratitude for their commitment to public safety, even with an increase in violent crimes.

“They’re very happy that we’re out there. They’re very happy that we’re taking care of it in a business professional law enforcement way,” says Sheriff Caruana.

The outpouring of support reaches agencies like the Rockford Police Department.

“It’s no secret we can’t do this job alone. So when you look at national night out on a larger scale, it’s a celebration of our efforts that come together and make the city a safer place. And that’s not just from the residents,” says Rockford Police Chief Carla Redd.

The campaign reaches 16,000 communities and more than 38 million residents since it was established almost 40 years ago.

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