MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. The operations of the Mount Vernon Police and Fire departments were on full display to the community Tuesday night for the annual National Night Out.
National Night Out is a nationwide program to bring communities together to strengthen neighborhood spirit and heighten crime and drug prevention awareness. Police Commissioner Carl Bell said the program is meant to raise awareness of things the police department does that the community might not know about.
We are giving the residents of Mount Vernon a chance to see how we serve them and to interact personally with police officers, Bell said. You can never do enough to improve your community. They cant just see the enforcement side of things. They have to see everything we do."
Fire trucks, police cars, a canine unit and other emergency service equipment were displayed by police officers and firefighters, who were joined by various other community groups from the city and county. Heather Dewar, an advocate for Victim Assistance Services in Mount Vernon, said her group was at National Night Out to let people know that, if they have been victims of crime, there are people in the city willing to help.
We want to give the program some exposure, Dewar said. We want people to be aware that if they have experienced domestic violence or sexual assault that they are not alone.
Artie Robertson, a trustee with the Mount Vernon Police Benevolent Association, said law enforcement cannot serve the community unless the community tells police what is going on.
Their input is crucial, Robertson said. We want them to let us know what happens in their neighborhoods so we know the best way that we can take care of business.
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