South Bend Police Department hosts National Night Out

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The South Bend Police Department took part in the annual National Night Out on Tuesday, aiming to bridge the gap between the community and the police.

The event comes in the wake of Friday's deadly officer-involved shooting of Dante Kittrell, with law enforcement stressing that despite the city's high crime rate and recent shootings, they are here to serve and protect.

"We are their officers, we are there for them, and this is a way to bring them together to help see their police department in a different light," said South Bend Police Patrolman and Chaplain James Burns.  "Give us a chance to show you that we are here for you no matter what."

Parents also came out to the event to establish good relations between their children and law enforcement, as well as give them the opportunity to get a first-hand look at equipment and vehicles used by first responders.

"We wanted to show the South Bend Police Department that we support everything that they do, and I also wanted to bring out my family, to show him that he doesn't have to be afraid of the police department," said South Bend resident Desmont Upchurch, referring to his young son.

The South Bend Police have been involved with National Night Out events for 20 years.

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