NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches city servants were out and about this evening as part of "National Night Out".
Residents celebrated the 25th year of the program with block parties in their neighborhoods where police, fire fighters and other city officials stopped by to meet their neighbors.
Neighborhoods across the City of Nacogdoches were lined with police cars and fire trucks but not for what you'd expect.
They were celebrating "National Night Out" an event sponsored by "The National Association of Town Watch" that brings city servants together with their community.
Nacogdoches Police Public Information Officer, Sgt. Greg Sowell says, "This is a two-fold thing. It gives the residents of the neighborhood a time to get to know each other and that's a lot with crime prevention and on the other hand it gives our people and other city servants the opportunity to interact with the neighbors that we serve on a non-urgent basis and they get to know each other and intermingle and actually feel like they have an acquaintance."
The Nacogdoches Police Department has been participating for the past decade and each year they drive from party to party meeting their neighbors.
Nacogdoches resident, David Miller says, "We take this opportunity to partner with the local police, fire department and individuals so that they get familiar with us and we get familiar with them to share and make sure we have a safe community to live in."
"We do this every year. We always have a get together in this neighborhood and we're all good friends and we have good fellowship," said Nacogdoches resident, Jerry Poole. "We have a covered dish dinner and we ask the police department to come out and we ask the fire department to come out, animal service and several other groups."
Miller says the night is also a good opportunity for kids to see police officers as their friends.
"[Kids] get to talk to the officers and understand that they're friends. They see the badges and the guns and the uniforms and they get a little bit scared but this their opportunity to learn that they're here to help and protect them and they're our neighborhood allies."
But most agree that a neighborhood watch is just simply neighbors watching out for each other.
"There's nothing complicated about neighborhood watch. It's just simply neighbors getting to know neighbors," said Sowell.
"The biggest protector of the neighborhood is all the people that live here and that's why we all know each other and keep abreast of what's going on the neighborhood and we communicate that with the local officials it's a great partnership," said Miller.
Sowell says he's impressed with the turn out this year and everyone had a great time visiting with old friends, making new friends and discussing any issues at hand.