August 02, 2016 02:07 PM
Thousands of Minnesotans will come together with local law enforcement Tuesday night to take part in the 33rd annual National Night Out.
The event helps community members get to know their local police officers and encourages crime prevention through family-friendly activities.
This year, the events might be more important than ever. The relationship between community and police has been tested in recent years with incidents like the police shootings of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights and Jamar Clark in Minneapolis.
The shootings caused tension between police and community members, spurring protests, demonstrations and calls for more accountability for police.
Local authorities say they want to be more transparent and connected to the community, which is all part of National Night Out.
Police departments across the state are urging people to come out to to the barbeques or block parties taking place to join them, get to know them and talk about crime and other concerns.
Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS earlier this week that it's essential to building community-police partnerships.
"This is a situation where we do need this now more than ever," he said. "We have to be in a place where, as law enforcement, we are reaching out, we are leaning in, we are making connections, even when it's challenging to do."
Scott Theisen & Cleo Greene
Updated: August 02, 2016 02:07 PM
Created: August 02, 2016 09:07 AM
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