CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - Chula Vista residents ranging in all ages came out Tuesday evening to get to know law enforcement and other city agencies during the National Night Out event.
"It's really nice to see all of the organizations, all of the nonprofits everything that we have in the city to offer,” Jessica Moreno said.
"A great way for my children to get a chance to see some great role models in our community,” Augustine Caasi said.
In a time where law enforcement has faced heavy scrutiny, Chula Vista Chief of Police Roxanna Kennedy hopes this event can give people a different look at the department.
"You know, it's been a tough couple of year and law enforcement hasn't always got the best media stories out there,” Kennedy said. “This is an opportunity for you to come inside our police department, interact with officers and see what it is we do each and every day."
Some feel this event can do just that.
"It's for our community and the officers. I know it's tough relationships there. But, this is a great way for us to get to know one another and just to know that we are all human,” Caasi said.
"It's important because the girls learn. They learn not to get scared of the police department, the police officers. We like to show them that they're friendly; they're here to help us out,” Moreno said.
Displaying that help to people of all ages is what event can do in Kennedy’s mind.
"You know what's important for us when we hire people is the badge is important without a doubt and there's a lot of responsibility with it. But it's a heart behind that badge that makes all the difference,” Kennedy said. “So, I want them to have an opportunity to interact with my officers and see that's a value here."
Kennedy also told ABC 10News that this is the first time that they’ve been able to hold the event in two years due to the pandemic.