PETERSBURG, Va. — Officers in Petersburg hosted multiple events on Tuesday evening to bring the community together to raise awareness about crime and drug prevention for National Night Out.
There were over 10 events that happened on Tuesday across the City of Petersburg, all with the hopes of bridging the gap between the community and the police.
From hot food, grocery giveaways, health services and lots of public safety, the parking lot at Bethany Missionary Church was filled with the Petersburg community.
"We have food for our families that have children to kind of supplement some of the food they would get during school," Darian Wyatt with food services said.
"We are here tonight to inform the people about the services we have at CVHS (Central Virginia Health Services)," Robin Tyler with CVHS said.
It was one of many events held in Petersburg in an effort to build the connection between the community and the police.
"It gives us that opportunity for dialogue and to create an opportunity for future conversations where we can meet later and have a conversation and communicate with one another, so it brings us all together to reconnect as one community," Petersburg Police Chief Travis Christian said.
Christian said that despite the violence that has happened in the city, he hopes with the help of the community, things will turn around.
"Petersburg is like any other city. We have had our challenges but we are not giving up on our community. Our community has not given up on us and we are going to take back our city," Christian said.
Darian Wyatt said she hopes to see more events like this throughout the year as they are vital to creating positivity in the community, a community that Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham says is rooted in love.
"It's a loving community, a small community, that is caring and everyone knows each other and we have these violent crimes here but it's definitely not an implication of the city Petersburg really is," Parham said.