CHARLOTTE – Communities across the Charlotte area celebrated the 29th National Night Out on Tuesday, and different sides of the criminal justice system took advantage.
National Night Out started in 1983 and is now celebrated in more than 15,000 communities in the United States. This year, police, prosecutors, sheriff's deputies and even elected officials joined the tradition and echoed a common message -- community safety starts with active and engaged neighborhoods.
In Wesley Chapel, Charlotte FBI officials used the event to tell adults about the child ID app.
"It's a tool that we want to get into parents' hands and this is the perfect place to reach parents," said Shelley Lynch, of the Charlotte FBI.
The app, available on Apple and Android products, captures pictures and vital information for children should they ever disappear or get abducted.
"Instead of those minutes of panic, this is one place where all that information can be preprogrammed," Lynch said.
Down the road in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray used National Night Out to listen. In Madison Park, Murray said the event is a good way for prosecutors to remind people of the importance neighbors being the eyes and ears on the streets so more justice can eventually be served in courtrooms.
"Passing that information on to the police, the police bringing it to us, and us bringing it in front of judges and making certain that criminals are held accountable," Murray said.
In Hidden Valley, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx sent his appreciation for those who fight to preserve their surroundings.
"We want to do everything we can do to get on the front end and prevent crimes from happening, and some of that is making sure that we have new good inroads with neighborhood leaders," Foxx said.
Aside from their event in Wesley Chapel, local FBI officials also attended a National Night Out event at Birkdale Village in Huntersville.