‘Humanize the badge:’ East Texas communities celebrate National Night Out

“It allows us the time to be with the community to kind of humanize the badge and just allow everybody to get to know and meet everybody on a more personal leve
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 10:21 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2022 at 10:41 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The first Tuesday of October is National Night Out in Texas, an opportunity for first responders to strengthen their relationship with the communities they serve.

According to the website it is “an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community.”

“It’s back the blue, back the Longview Police Department,” Social Director of Arabella Independent Living in Longview Paula Matthews said about her t-shirt. “That’s exactly what we’re doing here tonight.”

Arabella Independent Living is one of the many East Texas communities who held a block party for National Night Out.

“Gives them a chance to spend one-on-one time with the first responders and thank them personally.”

Tyler block party host Debra Christian said she hopes the neighbors bond tonight with each other and the first responders.

“When they know who their police and everybody are, it seems more relaxed, you don’t get scared,” Christian said.

Tyler Police Department Public Information Officer Andy Erbaugh spoke to the children at the Tyler block party.

“If you ever need help, you go to an adult or you find one of us, okay? Because we are here to help. And that’s why were out here tonight, to let y’all know that we’re here to help, okay? Always, you can call us.”

Longview, Tyler, and Bullard are some of the 392 Texas cities who participated in National Night Out.

“It allows us the time to be with the community to kind of humanize the badge and just allow everybody to get to know and meet everybody on a more personal level,” Bullard Police Department Detective Judith Tuell said.