RICHMOND, Va. -- National Night Out took place across the country Tuesday evening as communities came together with local law enforcement.
National Night Out is typically celebrated on the first Tuesday in August, but both Chesterfield County Police and the Richmond Police Department postponed the annual event due to COVID-19 concerns.
The events are designed to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie with the goal of making neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live.
In Chesterfield, officers stopped in several neighborhoods to have ice cream and food with neighbors.
In Richmond, police officers came together in the city's Southside with other deputies from the Richmond Sheriff's Office.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney stopped by the event and issued a proclamation that declared Tuesday as National Night Out for the City of Richmond.
The event was organized by the Jefferson Davis Neighborhood Civic Association. The association also shared words of appreciation to officers.
"We mean well, we mean well. We need you. Even though we know a lot of people are out here that tear holes, we need you all," an organizer said.
Richmond Chief of Police Gerald Smith also spoke at the event.
"It's been a very challenging time for the entire country, for Richmond and in the middle of all the challenges that we have that we could come together right now and have a moment of celebration, a moment to breathe, a moment to be a community," Chief Smith said. "This is a great, great event. It's my honor and pleasure to be here for that."
Chief Smith and Mayor Stoney also handed out free backpacks to children in the community.