Law enforcement, community members build relationships at Jacksonville’s National Night Out

Jacksonville Police Department hosts city-wide block party for officers and community members to interact and get to know each other.
Law enforcement, community members build relationships at Jacksonville’s National Night Out
Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 11:04 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2023 at 11:08 PM CDT

JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KLTV) - This year, the Jacksonville Police Department is hoping to win first place in the National Night Out competition, after bringing home second in 2022.

“This year, I’m so so happy, I know that we’re going to do first. We’re doing the best that we can to get there, and even if we don’t, I am super proud of this community for showing up,” said Community Engagement and Corporal for Jacksonville PD, Amanda Bragg.

She says over 6,000 community members walked up and down Commerce St. to meet officers and enjoy free food and entertainment.

Every year on National Night Out, community members and law enforcement officers come together to build relationships and trust in a safe and joyful environment.

“It brings us together on a personal level, not on a professional level, and when I say professional level, I mean we’re not going on a wreck scene, we’re not going on a call that we would typically answer, whatever the case may be. We’re simply here on a personal level to get to know each and every citizen here,” said Bragg.

She and her team have been planning this year’s event since January, and she says this event is part of a bigger campaign in Jacksonville to build personal relationships with residents to build trust and support.

“I’ve been here 59 years, and you can do the math. I’ve never lived anywhere else in my life, so it just thrills me as a citizen to see my hometown grow, and the camaraderie that we have amongst all of our people here, to come out in one unified group of people to celebrate our men and women in blue,” said Mayor Randy Gorham.

This is Jacksonville’s third year having a city-wide National Night Out event, and both Mayor Gorham and Corporal Bragg said they expect the event to be a hit for the foreseeable future. Jacksonville is one of dozens of cities in East Texas to hold celebrations and block parties.

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