Posted on August 8, 2012 at 4:59 AM
Wednesday, Aug 8 at 5:00 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- People across the area took to the streets for the "Annual National Night Out."
The goal for neighbors and police to team up to tell criminals -- they're not welcome.
Neighbors in the Hidden Valley area are getting to know each other not afraid to come out of their homes as they have been so often in the past.
Saundra Jones has seen it all in hidden valley, but she says national night out has worked and helped improve relationships between residents and the police.
"It is good that they know we can trust them and that they can trust us,” she said.
And police agree.
"Have you seen the crime rate drop,” CMPD officer said Ken Schul. "Yes, the past three years in this community we have had a drastic drop in violent crime."
Mayor Anthony Foxx joined in the festivities in Hidden Valley.
While over in the Madison Park neighborhood, district attorney Andrew Murray chatted with residents about the role the DA’s office plays.
"It starts with the citizens and starts with the community, goes through the police, to us and we take it to the end game to make certain that criminals are held accountable,” Murray said.
Officials say national night out has already brought a change to some procedures and how policing is done.
"When we hear about chronic issues in a particular neighborhood we adjust to what the complaints are and this is part of our police strategy,” Foxx said.
For Douglas Welton this was an opportunity to meet neighbors he might only have just seen in passing.
"If you don't know who is in your neighborhood and you don't know those people, you are missing out on an opportunity to make your life a lot better and to make their life a little bit better too,” Welton said.