National Night Out helps crack down on Central Alabama crime

{} Central Alabama neighbors and their local law enforcement held a crime prevention get-together. It's called National Night Out. Tuesday night thousands participated."It strengthens the bonds between neighborhoods and the police department," Officer Brian Hale, Hoover Police said.National Night Out is giving neighbors the chance to see how law enforcement operates first hand. {}The Hoover Police helicopters, the dive team, firefighters, the bomb squad, even the K-9 unit came to Hoover's event."I think it's really cool - I got to see a car, a {}police car and take a picture with it there," 8 year old Diana Hoffman said."What this is able to do for us is mingle with the public, get them out to see all the tools that are necessary for us to do our job to help them be safe and not become a victim," Hale said."For the kids, they have that fear of them, but for this kind of event if they get to know the police officers and know that they're the good guys and that they're there to help, that maybe if there is a problem, they'll feel comfortable going to them," Kathryn Esquivel, who attended Hoover's event said.Across the metro, people in {}Tuxedo Heights - part of the Pratt City neighborhood - did the same."It's about building relationships," Eric Hall, Community Outreach said. "With the officers present today, with our judges and city council officials, who played a part in making this a great success."{}Even helping these children get ready for their first week back in school with {}supplies."It's definitely events like this that helps make a decrease in crime activity that we have in Birmingham," Hall said.This marks the 31st year for the event. {}Over 16,000 communities from all 50 states participate. {}