LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – Music, dancing and fellowship is the perfect recipe for National Night Out at Ware Elementary in Longview.

They were one of at least 80 neighborhood parties in Longview alone.

“It’s imperative that we bridge our community with our local authorities and just support the community, so we all know that we are working together for the same cause of safety,” said Faith Greer, principal at Ware Elementary School.

A time set aside each fall for the community to meet their local first responders in a positive setting.

“The mission to just meet as many people as we can and have as many people meet us as possible. That way we can have these relationships ahead of time,” said Ladarian Brown, police area representative for south Longview

Greer said events like this really help the Longview community.

“We are probably one of the most safest towns in East Texas because we truly believe in making sure we communicate and when we need help, we seek help because we have highly trained officials here in our area to support us,” said Greer.

Michael Johnson, who went to the party with his three children, believes with officers now present in schools, it’s important that the connection starts now for his young boys.

“There has been a lot of things happening in the last couple of years, but for the relationship to build with the community, in an event like this, where my children can see that law enforcement and citizens can be in the same place we walk away okay, both parties I think is very important,” said Johnson.

The event also encourages neighbors to get to know neighbors.

“You get a chance to get out and mingle with people and reestablish those bonds,” said Johnson.

Longview PD said they made sure there was at least one officer at each party and they rotated throughout the night.

KETK was able to witness how much law enforcement looks forward to this day and really enjoy the community and meeting everyone.