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National Night Out follows violent week in Kansas City

Posted at 4:51 PM, Aug 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-08 07:48:16-04

JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. -- Police across the country are looking to bring back a sense of community through their annual National Night Out campaign, including police departments across the Kansas City metro area.

Following one of the most violent weeks in Kansas City, several metro area police departments will participate in National Night Out Tuesday in hopes of building better relationships in their communities. 

"Anything that happens anywhere in the metro area, affects all of us," said Sgt. Craig Herrmann, Shawnee Police Department. 

In the last week, 25 people have been shot in Kansas City, Missouri. Five of those victims died. The violence is causing concern not only in Kansas City, but on the other side of State Line. 

"I know that people who live in Shawnee, they see and hear what goes on in other parts of the metro and it's a concern to them," said Herrmann. 

That's why police departments around the metro are hoping to start a conversation. 

"We want to get out there, we want to get to know them, we want to hear what's going on in their neighborhood, if they have concerns, we'd love to listen to them," said Sgt. Logan Bonney, Olathe Police Department. 

In its 35th year, National Night Out is designed to raise awareness about drug prevention programs, neighborhood watch groups and other crime-fighting efforts. It also gets neighbors meeting neighbors. 

"It builds trust and you don't want to build trust during a crisis, you want to have that trust built beforehand," said Bonney. 

Given the recent violence, police believe it's created a sense of urgency for National Night Out. 

"Crime prevention starts in the neighborhood and it starts with the neighbors knowing each other and not being afraid to call them if they see an issue," said Bonney. 

Tuesday, Olathe Police will go to 16 neighborhoods hosting a National Night Out event. Shawnee Police are hosting one large event at a community pool. 

Shawnee: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Thomas A. Soetaert Aquatic Center, 13805 Johnson Drive. 

Overland Park: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Strang Park, W 87th Street and Farley or Kessler Park, W 79th Street and Kessler. 

KCK: 5 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at National Guard Armory at 100 S 20th Street 

Merriam: 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Vavra Park at 6040 Slater.