YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – National Night Out is an event held across the country.
The message is simple: to end crime and violence in the streets. Here in the Valley, several communities had their own Night Out events, including Youngstown. Law enforcement agencies use events like this to build better relationships with the community.
The Youngstown Police Department, Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, Boardman and Canfield police were all at Youngstown’s Night Out event at Wick Park. Organizer Annie Hall has been a catalyst behind the event for 21 years.
“If we can save one person, that will be a feather in my cap. I don’t like crime,” Hall said.
At 84 years old, Hall said she wants violence out of the Valley.
For years, a march against crime has started at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Elm Street and then moves to Wick Park, just north of the Youngstown State University campus. It is the same intersection that left one person in critical condition after a shooting in May.
Shootings and other violent crime are some of the key reasons law enforcement officials try to continue building stronger relationships.
“I think we have made an honest effort over the years in a continual way to be in contact with the community,” Youngstown Police Chief Robin Less said.
“I think it is really important for us to get to know the community better because the community is our eyes and ears,” Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene said
Hall said she has this message for people thinking of committing a crime.
“Stop the crime, stop the killing, stop the robbery, live together,” she said.
The National Night Out events started in 1983.
Austintown and New Middletown both had similar events Tuesday night and Farrell will have its event at 5 p.m. Wednesday with guest speaker Maurice Clarett.