National Night Out: Picayune PD visit local neighborhoods to bond with residents

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, October 12, 2016

During the National Night Out, the Picayune Police Department made new friends and bonded with local neighborhoods.

The Picayune Police Department made new friends and strengthened bonds with longtime residents during National Night Out. Photo by Taylor Welsh

To strengthen the bond between the community and local law enforcement, the men and women of Picayune’s Police Department participated in National Night Out by travelling the city to exchange hugs and laughter.
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that thousands of communities participate in across the nation to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie—making the neighborhoods safer.
“We want to let the community know that we are always here for them,” Capt. Theresa Milar said. “To get out and just build a relationship with the community is very important for us. Without the community, it is hard to do our jobs. They act like a second pair of eyes for us and we value our relationship with all of the community.”
During the event, held on Tuesday, the Picayune Police Department visited The Pines and Bridgeway Apartments.
While at The Pines, Milar and Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri talked about how grateful they are for the local support and gave some advice to retired community members to help them avoid identity theft and fraud.
Identity theft scams tend to target the retired, Milar said.
The officers then took a moment to greet residents and pass out gifts, including coffee mugs, sticker badges and American flags.
“The police here are very good at what they do and they are all such kind gentlemen and women,” resident Barbara Clark said. “Anytime I call, they are there to help.”
The second stop was Bridgeway Apartments, a community that promotes the independent living of people with intellectual developmental disabilities. Upon arrival, the officers were greeted with open arms and big smiles from the residents. The officers exchanged gifts and enjoyed fresh popcorn and beverages.
“Having the officers come and spend some time with these folks is great for the residents,” Katherine Clough, Bridgeway Apartments supervisor said. “They are all out in the world on their own, so doing social events like this not only gets them involved in the community, but it also reassures them that the police are the people you go to, not run away from.”
During the event, officers let residents activate patrol car sirens before the two parties said their goodbyes, tightening their relationship and trust in one another.

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