National Night Out celebrated across the country and in Fircrest

FIRCREST, Wash. -- Fircrest was one of about 16,000 cities across the country celebrating National Night Out.

“It’s kind of a fun-filled atmosphere and they get to see us in a different light,” said John Cheeseman, chief of the Fircrest Police Department.

In its 35th year, police, firefighters and other law enforcement came together with communities across the country to strengthen the police and community partnership.

“Tonight we’ll have some difficult conversations with some of the community as well,” said Cheeseman.

He says people tend to feel more at ease in casual, fun settings like National Night Out to go up to officers and talk to them about issues affecting their lives. Cheeseman says this event is an opportunity to build trust with the people they serve and protect.

“They help save us and catch robbers,” said one six-year-old boy about what police officers do in the community.

Doing push-ups with the Army, dunking cops in dunk tanks, talking with firefighters and touring emergency response vehicles, children of all ages got to engage with law enforcement and get educated on what it takes to do their job.

Cheeseman says people who attend the event enjoy it as much as the officers. And at a time when there has been so much violence, he says, positive events celebrating police and community are that much more important.