National Night Out festivities held all over the area
PHILADELPHIA - August 7, 2012 (WPVI) -- Festivities for the annual National Night Out were held all over the country and in the Philadelphia area Tuesday night.
It is a national initiative to promote a partnership between the police and the community.
Safety for the community is the message at National Night Out events Tuesday night.
The goal is always to let people know they are not alone in the effort to enjoy the comfort of living safely in their own communities.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey stopped by several Night Out celebrations in Philadelphia, encouraging neighbors to take a stand whenever necessary to help clean up the streets.
"It can't just be one day at of the year; it has to be every day that we have this partnership, an alliance to work together to make the neighborhoods safe," said Commissioner Ramsey.
2012 has been a particularly violent year in the city of Philadelphia. More than 800 shootings have been reported, with 212 homicides. That puts Philadelphia on pace to top last year's homicide rate of 324, which was the highest in three years.
But Commissioner Ramsey says the solution goes far beyond the streets of Philadelphia and all the way to the halls of Congress.
"With the lack of firm gun laws, that coupled with stiff sentences, and working with the community to identify people causing harm, that's how you reduced in the streets," Commissioner Ramsey said.
For now, the festivities gave neighbors a chance to forget about their personal challenges and enjoy each other's company.
"People are disadvantaged, and this is an opportunity to lift up spirits just for the evening so you can forget about your problems, and get some free hot dogs, water ice and meet the community," said Angela Simon.
"This is a great community, and we're just trying to make it better for everybody who lives in the area," said Jonathan Williams.
This is the 29th Annual National Night Out.
philadelphia police, guns, homicide, philadelphia, local/state
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