JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KETK)- Hundreds of people met in downtown Jacksonville for National Night Out.
“This event will change Jacksonville,” said Amanda Braggs, with the Jacksonville Police Department.
First responders mentioned the event is a great opportunity for the community get to know law enforcement in a relaxed environment.
“Normally when we interact with citizens it’s on a call or it’s during an accident or it’s somewhere where they can’t just really have a relaxed conversation with us, and this even allows them to do that,” said Braggs.
Police officers aren’t the only people thankful for this gathering.
Residents throughout the area stated this gives them a chance to bring everyone together.
“We are here to represent both sides of the community, the north side of the community, the south side, the east, the west everybody coming under the sun as one,” said Cynthia Freeman, with the Fred Douglass Alumni Association.
In previous years, separate events were held throughout the city. This is the first time everyone in Jacksonville came together.
“Instead of having five or six small events throughout the neighborhoods. (We have) come together as a community in downtown and combined all of our resources and (made) one huge great event. I think that’s what you see here today,” said Randy Gorham, Mayor of Jacksonville.
The community came together peacefully and some people are thankful to have this event since COVID-19 changed things last year.
“It’s so refreshing, it’s so refreshing especially for kids to get a group in the atmosphere like this instead of what we have seen for the last year and a half,” said Lauren Miller, Commerce Street Drafthouse owner.
Law enforcement added that seeing Jacksonville come together is heart warming.
“A lot of us don’t realize how much they truly love and appreciate it,” said Braggs.