Music and fresh food filled the air behind the Hinds County Sheriff's Department in downtown Jackson Thursday evening. It was the department's second annual Kickoff to National Night out on Crime. It's was party with a meaning.
"We have to convince people to believe in us," said Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis. "This is one way we are trying to get people believe in us, by working together, giving out tips, helping with neighborhood associations."
Lewis says events such as the Kickoff Party help deputies build relationships, making people more willing to work with law enforcement.
Everything at the celebration was free. The musicians donated their time and businesses gave food. Lewis says it's proof stores and restaurants want criminals off the streets.
"Not only are they tired of it, the business community has a vested interest in Hinds County," explained Lewis. "They don't want to leave. They want their customers to feel safe."
Those customers are residents. They also want peace in their neighborhoods.
"I'm really, really glad that they did this because we really need to get together and pull together, because a lot of these young kids is really is out there and really need us parents to try to help them come in off the street," said Jackson resident Joann Griffin.
For one night law enforcement wants people to feel comfortable with them, their message of help, and to relax without fear.
"It's very seldom that you can get out and have a good time with a crowd of people without a lot of violence. It's a wonderful thing and God is good," said Jackson resident Herman Guyton.
The official National Night out on Crime is October 30th.
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