Communities across Brown County came together to unofficially combat crime. Neighbors in several areas gathered Tuesday evening to meet and mingle for the 30th annual National Night Out.
The purpose of National Night Out, which kicks off every year on the first Tuesday of October, is for neighbors to get to know each other.
Brownwood Assistant Chief of Police James Fuller said National Night Out was developed as a program so that law enforcement, first responders and the community can get to better know each other and help make the community a safer place.
"If your neighbor knows who you are, or if you know their vehicles and how they operate, when you see something suspicious, you're more apt to call the police to investigate," Sgt. Fuller said.
More than 40 areas participated and hosted block parties for the event, including the Brownwood Retirement Apartments, the Marketplace Apartments and the Bennie Huston Community Center.
"What I want the community to take away from this night is that we all have someone that we can count on," Marketplace Apartments property manager Suzanne Milch said. "We want everyone to know everyone. It's important to know what's going on around us. It definitely increases a sense of security."
Nancy Ervin and her husband moved into their South Brownwood home this past week and said this was the perfect opportunity to meet their neighbors. "We got a list of all the neighbors and their phone numbers in case we ever see anything out of the ordinary."
Local law enforcers, emergency personnel and city officials drove around town and made appearances at several gatherings.
"We want to let them know that we're their partners in the community and we can all work together to make everything better. Our ultimate goal in law enforcement is to have a healthy, safe community," Sgt. Fuller said. "I think that's what it's really all about; you have a sense of family within these extended communities like this and it's just very comforting feeling to know that these are people that actually care about one another and are more willing to observe and to help."