Deputies work to build relationships with community in Pierce County on National Night Out

On Tuesday, law enforcement agencies across the state and country took part in the National Night Out, an event focused on helping build strong relationships with police and the community.

National Night Out is an annual event that has been around for decades. However, COVID-19 impacted it last year. 

The relationship between police and their communities has also become tense in some areas.

"There’s been so many challenges for law enforcement and the communities, and that relationship, over the last couple years, even as of late," said Deputy Jeff Papen with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

He says these National Night Out events are a vital part of the job as a member of law enforcement.

"It means a lot to me to be able to come out here and interact with our community because like I said before this last year, year plus, has been tough, not just for law enforcement but for our communities. And this gives us a chance to heal a little bit," said Papen.

Anthony Mumphrey is a father of four children. His oldest is only 13 years old.

He says events like this are so important for his family.

"There’s no ill will, there’s no hate, there’s nothing but respect and love. And for him to come out I appreciate it, and it shows my boys that every interaction with a policeman is not a bad one," he said. 

There were several different celebrations throughout Pierce County, and other parts of the region for National Night Out.

For more information on the annual event, click here.

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