D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - The D'Iberville Civic Center was the place to be Tuesday night as hundreds of residents turned out for the National Night Out Against Crime.
"Basically, it's an event where community leaders and public servants, police officers and firemen, get to know their community," Lieutenant Shannon Nobles said. "I was just speaking to a gentleman in there who says he drives past our station all the time. He lives on Third Avenue, same street as the station, but didn't know anybody at the station."
National Night Out is the perfect way to change that. Across the nation, people were challenged to step out of their comfort zones and get acquainted with strangers who share the same zip code.
"I feel really welcome. The cops and everyone was outside when we came inside the civic center. They were all very welcoming," Heather Spengler said. "They gave us stickers, they've been handing us gifts and prizes talking with all the organizations. Everyone is really lovely here."
Organizers believe people coming together and familiarizing themselves with local officers will be the ultimate deterrent against crime. It also gives members of the community a chance to communicate directly with the men and women who protect and serve on a daily basis.
"A lot of the time, the only time people see us is when we're driving by their house or they're calling us about an incident. So there's not always a lot of time for feedback. At these events we can figure out what they need or what we can do. We can get that feedback from them," Nobles said.
This is the 4th year D'Iberville has participated in National Night Out.