La Crosse neighborhoods and law enforcement gather for National Night Out

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — When we think of law enforcement, an emergency or even a speeding ticket can come to mind– but law enforcement can do much more.

That is why officers nationwide took part in National Night Out on Tuesday, an event connecting law enforcement officers to the communities they live and work in.

It is designed to build trust, as relationships provide the foundation of a community.

There were events held across the nation, with 12 throughout La Crosse itself.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing,” said Linda Lee of the Weigent-Hogan Neighborhood Association.

In the commotion of everyday life, sometimes it can be hard to slow down and get to know your neighbors.

“It’s great to know your neighbors, to know your police officers,” said Chris Woodard of the Washburn Neighborhood Association.

National Night Out gives neighbors the chance to connect.

The Weigent-Hogan community’s event was its first.

“It’s wonderful that all the neighbors showed up,” Lee said.

People at each event got the chance to connect with each other and the officers who serve them.

“It’s really important that kids who live in the community get to meet the police not when they’re showing up at their house for something bad happening, or something difficult happening,” Lee said.

Those relationships also help integrate officers into the communities they serve.

“Great opportunity to get out here, get out of the squad car, do something fun,” said Officer Nick Raddant of the La Crosse Police Department. “I was just playing Wiffle ball with one of the kids here, too.”

That gave everyone the chance to build relationships from the start.

There were more than 1,500 events nationwide.

If you missed out, the events will be back again next year.

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