Thousands came together to take a stand against crime at Savannah's Daffin Park last night for National Night Out. It's a chance for the community to get together and meet the men and women--and dogs and horses for that matter--that keep us safe. It's also an opportunity for people to get more enthusiastic about stamping out crime in general.
It's a serious subject, but everyone certainly manages to have fun.
"I think it's fun and I think it's always good," said Savannahian Diamond Fraser.
National Night Out is a chance for people to eat some good food, grab a cold drink, and sit back and watch local entertainment. But most importantly, it's a chance for them to get an up-close look at some of the people who protect them and how they do it.
And organizers say the annual rally for community involvement has had positive results. "We've just about cut our homicide rate in half," said Chief Dan Flynn of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department. "Last year, in 2004, we had our lowest crime rate in 27 years and that's the community working together with the police."
And even though rain may have cut the festivities short, city officials say they hope the message got through, that this isn't just a one-day-a-year type of deal. People need to work with police all the time.
"We all get along very, very well in this park today," said Alderman Van Johnson. "Let us go back to our neighborhoods and get along as well. Together."
Just a couple years ago, Savannah won an award as the best National Night Out in the country for cities about the same size.