SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Several cities and towns across the country pledged their support for anti-crime and anti-gang violence efforts Tuesday night.
The City of Springfield was one of 10,000 communities nationwide that held a crime prevention event Tuesday night called the National Night Out. This comes less than two weeks after Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno increased patrols in the city's high-crime areas.
One night. 10,000 cities and towns, and one goal. Several western Massachusetts neighborhoods participated in America's National Night Out Against Crime Tuesday night.
An event designed to generate support for anti-violence efforts and to strengthen the relationship between the community and their local police.
At the National Night Out Against Crime, children got a chance to meet police officers who are often in their neighborhood, patrolling the area. They also learned about different ways to stay safe.
Besides simple safety measures like locking your doors when you're not home, police and neighbors told 22News, if you see something, you should say something.
Springfield Police Officer Mark Kenney told 22News, "It's more than just words. It's actions. Having proactive neighbors is everything. We cannot be everywhere all the time. They are our eyes and ears 24/7. They see something. They let us know. Then we can certainly act on it."
Kathleen Brown from the East Springfield Neighborhood Council said, "We can't assume somebody else is going to pick up the phone and call the police to tell them what they've seen. If you see it call. Even if six people call, that's better than no one calling."
And meet with your neighborhood council to discuss other ways to stay safe.
George Bolduc from the East Springfield Neighborhood Council told 22News, "We just basically keep them updated, give them some helpful hints that they can do for their safety and their home safety. So we always have that communication between the police and the community."
12 people have been killed in Springfield so far this year. The Massachusetts State Police are now helping Springfield police keep the streets safe.