DES MOINES, Iowa — National Night Out events took place across the country on Tuesday with the goal of improving the relationship between police and the community they serve.
This is the 32nd year the Des Moines Police Department has participated in the event.
National Night Out is designed to strengthen crime and drug prevention and promote local anti-crime programs.
“A lot of people use homicide as a benchmark for how dangerous a city is,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek. “This year we’re at four [homicides]. Last year we had three times that at this time of the year, so I think as a community we’re doing things right.”
Ako Abdul-Samad, a longtime community activist and state representative, believes the event is essential.
“Shootings have taken place in the winter, spring, summer and fall. So it’s about not only taking back the night, it’s about making the community a neighborhood again,” Abdul-Samad said.