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WFPD National Night Out helps put faces behind badges

It is an event joined by thousands of police officers across the United States.
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 10:52 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Families in Wichita Falls had a night out with police officers where they were able to put a face to the women and men behind the badge.

WFPD National Night Out is a event joined by thousands of police officers across the United States. For those that attended the event at Lake Wichita Park on Tuesday, it really was the key to bridging the gap between law enforcement and the community.

“They keep us safe, they do their job, they’re here for us, it’s kind of important to know who they are,” said Savannah Boatman, participant at National Night Out.

Originally the event started 38 years ago, with neighbors to turning on their porch lights. To symbolize a community that stood against crime, now it has grown into to something much bigger.

“Now we’re having a get together to where we are getting to know one another. What I like about it is the police and the community coming together in Wichita Falls and cultivating this relationship that we have with one another,” said Sgt. Charlie Eipper, public information officer for the WFPD.

Families were able to eat dinner, tour WFPD SWAT vehicles, and have real conversations with officers like Eipper and Jeff Hughes.

“We have discussion about pay raises or about recruiting. We get to share with them about our families, where we’re from, we’re people again behind the badge, we’re able to relate,” said Eipper.

And it doesn’t matter if you lived in the area for 10 years or just a few months.

“Coming from a small town back in Arizona, my girls were very comfortable with law enforcement there and so I just want to get them acclimated with law enforcement out here,” said Tamara Norris, new resident of Wichita Falls.

“I just thought it was a good opportunity just to come out and get to know some of the officers and meet them and hear some of their stories,” said Bambi Kenedy, participant at National Night Out.

The Wichita Falls Police Department said they are very pleased with the turnout from Tuesday’s event, which they think has a lot to do with it being virtual last year due to COVID-19.

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