National Night Out brings thousands together in Hernando County

Building bridges between police, community
Posted at 10:34 PM, Oct 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-03 02:07:02-04

Recent national headlines have put a spotlight on the growing tension across the nation between police and communities.  That's why there's also been a growing movement to support the law enforcement community and bring both the community and police together, through events like National Night Out.

More than 12,000 people attended this year's National Night Out in Hernando County, and organizers say it's really important to interact with the community to continue to build strong relationships.

"Come out and meet your neighbors, come out and meet your public safety professionals.  It's just a great night for everybody," said Denise Moloney, Hernando Co. Sheriff's Office public information officer.

That's what National Night Out is all about.  In Hernando County, deputies took time to show off every different facet of their department from a K9 demonstration, to letting kids get up close and personal with SWAT vehicles, fire trucks and police helicopters.

"It's really fun!" said Angelica London.

Every public safety agency represented say events like this are key to building trust and a sense of community, which is more important now than ever.

"We don't experience the problems here that we see across the nation.  We're very fortunate.  We work hard to work in our community to keep those relationships positive," said Moloney.

Kids are glad to have an opportunity to get to learn a little more about first responders and to see how much goes into their jobs every day.

"I think it's important because if you don't know them, then you won't know anything important, like if something happens to you, who to call and everything like that," said student Abby Dibartolomeo.

Her mom hopes everyone attending National Night Out comes away learning to appreciate and respect all those working to keep communities safe.

"I think the more people that get on board and show they believe there are good people out there, that more people will come together and become more of one, than against each other," said Audra Dibatolomeo.