MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mid-South residents are taking a stand against crime by bringing their neighborhoods closer together as part of the National Night Out campaign, which aims to help build community trust with each other and law enforcement.

Birch Street in North Memphis was one of many National Night Out events happening across the Mid-South Tuesday evening. It was packed with people ready for a night of fun.

While the candy and music drew in the crowd, National Night Out has a deeper meaning: creating positive interactions between communities and law enforcement. MPD officers said they look forward to each year. 

“There are other sides to policing. It’s not all about enforcement. There are other sides. And this is that other side- prevention, talking to them about things to better the community awareness, and just being out with the community, talking to them, and having fun with them,” said MPD Deputy Chief Paul Wright.

Wright has been a member of the Memphis Police Department for 34 years. While he loves interacting with children, he said events like these are also important to foster those relationships with adults like Cathy Porter.

Porter has lived in the Palmershire Park Neighborhood for 55 years and helps organize the event each year. 

Part of the goal of this Night Out is to build a safer community by knowing your neighbors, and Porter makes it a point to welcome them all.

“I can name everybody from one end of the street to the other, even the ones that just moved in. I can name everybody from Vollintine up to Jackson. And we want you to know that we know who you are and you are welcome over here,” Porter said.

Several other National Night Out events were held Tuesday night in other areas, including West Memphis, Whitehaven, and Meadowbrook Park.