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Communities host National Night Out, locals give input

ESCAMBIA COUNTY -- Tonight 15,000 communities across the country are hosting National Night Out. The program started nearly 30 years ago to help neighborhoods fight crime. The event is meant to raise awareness about police programs like drug prevention, neighborhood watch, and other anti-crime efforts.
Despite some rain, hundreds came out to celebrate national night out. It wasn't just fun and games, but an opportunity for people to connect with local law enforcement agencies. A bounce house, a meet and greet with K-9s and kids eating dinner with officers inside a swat tank.  National Night Out was not only a fun block party, but educational.
"They really respect law enforcement... That they’re our heroes,” said Stacie Jemison.
Stacie Jemison brought her children out -- in hopes of giving them a glimpse of what law enforcement agencies do on a day to day basis.
"I think it's very important. Pensacola has been high on crime.... to prevent crime. "
National Night Out is designed to bring awareness to crime and drug prevention and strengthen relationships between police and the community. The event is co-sponsored by the Sheriff's Office, Pensacola police, and Northwest Florida Prevention Coalition. Target also sponsors the event nationally-- volunteers handed out free school supplies to children.
Christine Wyer said, "Very informative all of the booths offer the kids informative info.... in Escambia County."
Christine Wyer believes an event like this is more important than ever-- considering the violent crimes happening around Pensacola. She's happy to see a positive event like this.
"Knowledge is power.... to serve and protect," Wyer said.
National Night Out events were also held tonight at the Community Center in Milton and the park at Fort Walton Beach Landing. Law enforcement agencies offered self-defense seminars for children and women, bike safety tips and safety tips for your home.