ELKHART — Hundreds of people turned out for the Elkhart Police Department’s 10th annual Night Out Against Crime Tuesday.

The event, at Central Park in downtown Elkhart, featured games, food and a number of activities and demonstrations, allowing officers the chance to interact with the community in a different context than they would while on duty.

Lt. Travis Snider, public information officer with Elkhart Police Department, said the mission of the event is to strengthen community relationships in an effort to make the city safer. 

“Basically it’s our night to be available to the public and educate them and allow then to get to know an officer in an environment that they can feel comfortable,” he said.

There were about 30 local organizations and businesses that participated in the event.

Snider said the night was also an opportunity to educate residents about what the local agencies are out there to help them.

“We’re usually the first person someone sees when they need help and a lot of times we refer those people to a lot of these organizations that are here today,” he said.

Each year, Snider said the event has a great turnout, crediting the good weather and volunteers as key components to the event’s continual success.

National Night Out is held nationwide every year the first Tuesday in August.

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