National Night Out promoting police-community partnerships

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A national event aimed to promote a partnership between the police force and community is coming to Austin. Officers will be getting out of their police cars and meeting the people in the city they serve.

On Tuesday night, police will talk to community leaders about what they can do during National Night Out events. The goal is to promote involvement in crime prevention activities.

The rest of the country celebrates the day in August, but due to the Texas heat it is hosted in October in Austin. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo plans to attend several block parties. He hopes to talk with neighbors about working together and preventing crimes from the community level.

Police officers, firefighters, EMS, and city officials will attend block parties in Georgetown and San Marcos. The Manor Police Department is hosting a barbecue at Jenny Lane Park starting at 5 p.m. In Northeast Austin, people in Colony Park are having a community meeting to get an update on the master plan for the area.

The University of Texas Police Department will host their own National Night Out on Tuesday. The division of housing and food got a jump start on the fun yesterday. Students wore drunk goggles, threw beanbags, and sprayed UTPD officers with water to learn how to properly use pepper spray.

“They just made an effort to be out here, and it shows us we can respect them as much as they respect us. They are actually teaching us certain things to do in real life situations and really connecting with us,” said UT student Jada Underwood. “So it makes us feel safer than we already feel.”

UTPD will host other events at the Gateway Community Room and the University Food Court Tuesday night at 6 p.m.

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