NORFOLK, Va. – Tuesday is National Night Out across the United States, but for the City of Norfolk and its police department, the celebration is a culmination of effort and focus to enhance its standing with the community.
Whether it was the viral lip sync video put out by the department to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” or enhanced conversations with the community, the Norfolk Police Department knows that its work is also a reflection of the people it serves.
Norfolk Police believes the lip sync video did play a part in people reaching out with information out about crimes, and also believes it’s helped break down barriers the department has been working to overcome for years.
“It has allowed us to just engage with our community and serve as a great icebreaker,” said Sgt. Will Pickering. “Because now when we go to events and we walk down the street we have citizens who come by and say, “‘Hey the video is great. Were you in the video?'” It’s allowed us just to discuss some great things the Norfolk Police Department is doing, and it’s allowed our community just to see us in a different light.”
Part of the reason the National Night Out event is being held at P.B. Young Elementary School is because of its proximity to the Young Terrace community, where two teenagers in the area were murdered recently.
While the unfortunate deaths can’t be undone, the Norfolk Police Department said its ability to enhance relations with the community enabled its department to reach out to people in the area, which led to suspects being arrested.
It is hard to fully put trust in any one person or police department. But, Norfolk Police told News 3 it’s hoping that those who find it hard to trust them can at least give them a chance.
For more on National Night Out events in cities across our region, click here.