NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) – Across Texas, there's a heightened law enforcement presence in many neighborhoods.
It's not because of any threat but an open invitation for families to meet the men and women who patrol the streets.
Sirens blare. Firefighters, a constable and deputies arrive on the scene.
They're at Flemon Park to meet with the North Redland community as they get to know neighbors.
"It gives us a chance to communicate with our community and let them know that we are here to help them," said Carlton Russell with the Central Heights Volunteer Fire Department.
Neighbors meet for their first National Night out gathering.
"We're organized and we're fighting back," said chairman of the neighborhood watch program Patricia Veal.
Last year the North Redland community formed the watch program, holding meetings every month.
Constable William Sowell says it's making a difference while strengthening ties between residents and law enforcement.
"In the county, there's not an over abundance of law enforcement. The people that live in the community know what goes on in their communities better than we do and if we have a relationship with the people in the community then that helps us do our job," explained Sowell.
"You never know when we may need them so it's good," said Veal.
Tuesday's gathering also helped boost community morale.
"We all grew up together and went to school together and our families, you know were really close and we all want to continue to have a closeness," said Veal.
"It's good to know who is in your community and it's good to know if there are problems, that they can be addressed and find information through the constable as well as the other community members," said Belinda Moore, a local pastor.
The closer they get, the stronger they grow, determined to keep their streets safe.
North Redland residents interested in attending the monthly neighborhood watch meetings can contact Patricia Veal at 936-675-5569 or Leo Garrett at 936-554-4839 for more information.