National Night Out: Houston families and law enforcement gather for neighborhood event

HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) — Police officers had the opportunity to meet families from different parts of the city.

The community and law enforcement came together for National Night Out, an event created to build the relationship between the two groups.

When families see so many police officers in one place, it’s often a crime scene.

But on Tuesday night, children and parents saw a different side of officials, a side that both believe will help close that gap.

“Opportunities like this, where you’re visible, but visible to celebrate, visible to lend a helping hand, we need more of that,” said Crystal Walter Jn Baptiste, a parent who attended one of the National Night Out -Participated in events.

She believes that events like this steer the relationship between the police and the community in a better direction.

“The more we see it, the more it’s becoming a new normal, and hopefully we’ll get there,” she said.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said there was room for improvement.

With so many children attending the event, he said it’s important to reach them while they are young.

“Young people will stay young people,” Turner said. “But we need to help them make better decisions (and) use better judgment so that a bad decision doesn’t turn into a fatal decision.”

Turner said there are nearly 20,000 gang members in Houston and more needs to be done to discourage teenagers from joining the gang.

“We have to love them more than gang members try to love them. We have to hug her. We must meet them where they are. We need to speak in a language they understand. We have to tell them our story,” Turner said.

Baptiste’s son, Waltere Ellison, said he plans to stay out of trouble because he’s difficult to influence.

“I don’t follow what other people do. I go by my own rules and don’t listen to other people,” Ellison said.

Baptiste, who is related to a police officer, hopes events like this will have a lasting impact on her children.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved. National Night Out: Houston families and law enforcement gather for neighborhood event

Russell Falcon

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