National Night Out helps build relationships between officers and Florence residents

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) –  "National Night Out" is taking place all over the nation. It’s considered the premiere crime prevention event.

On Tuesday, Florence residents came out to take a stand against crime and celebrate law enforcement agencies. Among the crowd was Eric Watkins' family.  Watkins was shot to death back in November of 2013. Almost eight months later, the case is still a mystery.

"It's on my mind every day and I know that he's in a better place. But the person that took his life is still out there and me and my family still want justice to be served for him,” said his sister, Christiana McClain.
One way the Florence Police Department is making sure justice is served is through events like “National Night Out.” The goal is to build a relationship with residents.

"It just gives a face to the community. It lets them know that there's tip lines that they can call into at the police department and they can reach our community police officers," said Lieutenant Ken Lester with the Florence Police Department.

The event came to Florence a number of years ago. Since then, it has helped officers and residents maintain an open relationship with residents. The event happens annually on the first Thursday of August.

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