Law enforcement, watch groups stand for 'National Night Out' - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus law enforcement and watch groups stand up against crime

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Law enforcement all over the U.S. and Canada are hoping to send one message to communities - that crime will not be tolerated.

Several of the National Night Out's were right here in the Chattahoochee Valley. Columbus was part of the 32nd National Night Out, with the city's law enforcement visiting 36 neighborhoods.

They say this event brings more united neighborhoods and a united city. It also shows appreciation for people living in each community.

Instead of the police cars rushing to a crime scene Tuesday night, dozens of law enforcement and supporters gathered at the Columbus Civic Center to meet with several neighborhood watch groups throughout the Fountain City.

"Usually when we get there everyone is glad that we are there, fellowship. First time a lot of them met their neighbors, so it's a positive event," said Sgt. Donald Bush with the Columbus Police Department.

For the 15th year, Columbus Police are involved in National Night Out, designed to stop criminal activity and bring camaraderie with neighbors and officers.

"Our local law enforcement love our citizens and this is living proof that they love the law enforcement, so we appreciate everything they do and we're here to take care of them," CPD Chief Ricky Boren said.

One of the biggest neighborhood watch groups is in the Holly Hills neighborhood on Playa Delray Drive, off St. Mary's Road. Officers rolled in with their motorcade and sirens. They were met with hand waves, a block party, music, food and entertainment to welcome their law enforcement officers.

"Lot of old friends that we don't get to see very everyday, a lot of great neighborhood and great community turn out," said Boren.

One of the neighborhood watch captains for the area says partnering with police has had a great effect on the community.

"We watch out for each other, like in the middle of the night my neighbor called me and said, 'cut your light on because someone I saw someone take some plants of your porch,'" said Mae Marshall.

And though national night out is only once a year, residents say joining a neighborhood watch team and helping to reduce crime should happen year round for better and safer communities.

There are over 100 neighborhood watch groups in Columbus. Police say if you're interested in starting your own or want to become part of one, you can call (706)-653-3173.

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