PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Police all across the state participated in a national tradition Tuesday night, hoping to build stronger relationships with Rhode Islanders.
The goal of the event – called “National Night Out” – is to strengthen the trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Providence Police Captain Henry Remolina said the capital city has participated in the event for the past 19 years.
“Sometimes little kids are intimidated by the uniform, so this is a chance for them to see us in a different light and for us to get to know our neighbors,” Remolina said.
Remolina said the event is a reminder that police officers are always willing to lend a helping hand and keep everyone safe.
Providence Councilman Michael Correia has helped organize the event each year.
He said the event is important now more than ever.
“In today’s society, a lot of the children, even some adults, feel that there’s no trust in law enforcement,” Correia said. “We’re hoping to break that way of thinking and this is one way of doing it, by bringing the community together.”
Remolina said he hopes the event will also encourage an open dialogue between residents and law enforcement, especially when it comes to reporting crime.
“Sometimes people think, ‘Oh someone else is going to call,’ but it’s important to take that step and events like this make it easier for the community to take that step and for us to also receive it,” Remolina explained.
Remolina also said the event is fun for officers and first responders because they get a chance to meet the community they serve.
On Tuesday night, Rhode Island State Police had a seat belt simulator there and the Providence Fire Department responded to a staged scene.
The Providence Police Department’s mounted command also attended the event so residents could meet the officers and their horses.
“It’s important to come together, start working together and communicate with one another,” Remolina said.