National Night Out: Norfolk Police want neighbors to build relationships

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NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk community came out and partied with a purpose at National Night Out. Police are encouraging the community to build relationships.

"That's consistent communication with everything that's going on. If you know your officers who are patrolling your community, it just makes it easier for the communication to flow," said Sgt. Aprelle Copeland.

Paul Ballance is the president of the Roosevelt Civic League and believes a relationship makes a difference.

"It makes you feel safe when you see your friends patrolling your neighborhood," said Ballance, who added his neighborhood has a good relationship with Police. "We had a problem one day last week and police came over and they took over of it. The person who reported it felt very comfortable things were done correctly."

Neighbors are encouraged to get to know one another, in addition to making connections with police, the fire department and other city agencies to help fight crime.

"A lot of people live by their neighbors and don't know who they are. Get to know your neighbors, introduce yourself, say hi," said Sgt. Copeland.

Police believe a united neighborhood does deter crime.

"If they know the neighborhood is on watch. They're going to be less likely to try that neighborhood because they know someone is paying attention," said Sgt. Copeland.

That's why Police encourage civic leagues and neighborhood watch programs and work closely with them.