Pinellas Park police set tone of transparency with National Night Out event

Posted at 3:48 PM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 17:12:35-04
Pinellas Park Police Department is hosting a National Night Out event Tuesday that it believes has great importance this year.
In the United States, protests and rallies have popped up after confrontations between officers and African American men. People have also noticed a wave of support across the country for officers, who were recently killed in the line of duty.
The tone tonight is transparency and support, authorities said.
"Everything we do is from the heart, and it really means a lot to us to help those folks in need," Sgt. Mike Griffiths said.
The free event is schedule for 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Target parking lot at 7150 U.S. 19 North in Pinellas Park. 
"To build trust is by showing what we do, opening ourselves up (and) letting them see what we do on a daily basis," Sgt. Griffiths said.
National Night Out is known for building relationships between law enforcement and people who live in the community. Some say that bond is needed now more than ever.
"We wear the uniform everyday, but we're the same as the folks there with us," Sgt. Griffiths said.
Sgt. Griffiths said their department has been flooded with appreciation from the community.
"The support that we've seen lately is beyond what I've ever seen. Folks come in on a daily basis providing meals to us and just thank you cards from the heart," Sgt. Griffiths said.
Several agencies are involved. Authorities said there will be more officers present than last year, making sure the event remains a safe event.