Nassau leaders seek to build bridges with community for National Night Out
Nassau County leaders came out to Bunky Reid Park in Westbury Tuesday for a National Night Out event.
Officials say it is important for them to show residents that they are serious about building bridges with the community and improving relationships between residents and police.
The event had games, music and an atmosphere to relax in.
The calls for improving came to light following the death of George Floyd where hundreds of Nassau County residents took to the streets in protest.
"A lot of good changes came after reform, a lot of good ones," says Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. "National Night Out meant a lot before George Floyd, it means a lot more after George Floyd because we lost trust in the communities, you know, and they wanted the police to build it back and that's exactly what we're doing."
The Freeport Police Department created a community affairs division because of the calls for police reform.
"Sometimes people just need to be heard and as we hear them, we listen and we can address the essentials so that there is some type of resolution," says Officer Bobby Ford, of the Freeport Police Department.
Residents tell News 12 they have seen improvements when it comes to the police interacting with the community.
"I think it's gotten better, I mean when you look at an event like this, when you see so many people of color, so many people in uniform, everyone's having a great time," says Terrell Duckett, of Westbury. "It just says a lot, it speaks volumes."