CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - If you were driving around Tuesday night, you may have noticed more than a few block parties and barbecues going on.
That's because it was the 34th Annual National Night out; An event aimed at fostering better relationships between the community and Law Enforcement.
At 5 p.m. Corpus Christi Police Chief Mike Markle flipped on a giant display switch at The Palms on Leopard Street to kick off the event.
Shortly after porch lights were lit as people welcomed their neighbors and first responders for food and fun in their front yards.
"Alot of us really don't know who our neighbors are so this is one night out of the entire year that we say come on, go out there and find out who lived across from you because it really does prevent crime," CCPD spokesperson Arlene Cordell said.
Officers visited over 100 different neighborhoods across the city so citizens could meet the faces behind the badge.
"We want to keep our neighborhood safe do i think that it's all great that they can come and they have a burger of us and get to know all of us," Norma Gonzalez, an Esparza Estates resident, said.
CCPD officials said they rely on the community to be their ears and eyes.
"Unfortunately they are not able to be at every single street patrolling they did back in the old days," Cordell said.
Officers said getting to know and understand communities is vital in protecting them, especially when it comes to preventing and reporting drug and violent crimes.
"They get to know us," Gonzalez said. "We get to know them we get to know everything that's going on in our neighborhood."
And communities didn't let a little rain ruin their fun.
"We all ran inside the garage and we still all got to eat," Gonzalez said. "We had hamburgers, hot dogs and alot of goodies."
And there was a surpise visit for several neighborhoods.
"Oh my god the fire department is here," Gonzelez said as a fire truck pulled up to the 2900 block of Graciela Drive.
First respondors said theywere thankful for how many people took the time to open up their front yards and hearts to one another.
"Hopefully next year we can get an even bigger turnout and we will send even more officers out becuase we really enjoy this one on one time with the citizens," Cordell said.
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