LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – Communities and law enforcement throughout Lake Charles and Sulphur have found the best way to fight crime is to come together.
"There should be nothing adversarial between the police and the community, they should be our partners," said Chief Don Dixon of the Lake Charles Police Department.
"Obviously we're not a big enough man power to do everything ourselves and so we need the community's help," stated Chief Chris Abrahams of the Sulphur Police Department.
Every year, National Night Out serves as a platform to bridge the gap between law enforcement and communities.
On St. Mary Drive in Lake Charles there was plenty of food and also plenty of games to be played. In Sulphur, Vince Vance and the Valiants played at the city's largest Night Out event yet. The monster truck Southern Sunshine also made an appearance for the first time in 24 years.
Chief Abrahams stated, "It kind of brings everybody together and helps with the problem to fight crimes."
Interacting with one another in a friendly atmosphere helps to build trust, and it allows law enforcement to educate community members.
"For the police to do their jobs the community needs to stay informed," said Haley Alleman, who attended National Night Out in Sulphur.
Chief Dixon stated, "We need to educate them about what's going on in the city, different scams that are going on, and car break-ins, and so on, so they're informed."
In turn, the community can help educate law enforcement.
Mary Joseph attended the event in Lake Charles. "Knowing the police are trying to work with us in the neighborhood, we should work with the police," she said.
"With their help, their knowledge, with their insight, they can give us a whole lot of help solving crimes," said Chief Abrahams.
With the success of National Night Out, residents in Lake Charles and Sulphur are seeing positive changes in their community, proving you don't have to wear a badge to stop crime, but you can be the eyes and ears of law enforcement.
"We want them to know that they do make a difference, they can make a difference," said Chief Dixon.