Whitehall uses National Night Out to stress crackdown on crime

National Night Out (WBNS-10TV)

National Night Out is about building relationships between the community, police and first responders.

“It's fun to walk around and watch the kids and children, and adults too learning about law enforcement, government and city government. Really, it's about safety and that we're not scary people,” said Whitehall Police Chief Mike Crispen.

Chief Crispen says National Night Out is a chance to reset with the community; for every day citizens to connect with officers and learn about the strides the department is making in cutting down crime.

“In order to reduce violence, we had to hit the other two things, which was narcotics and theft,” Crispen explained.

Whitehall has seen a 90 percent increase in drug-related offenses since 2014. The chief explains that's not because drug use or sales is necessarily increasing, but it's all about enforcement.

“We amped up our canine program and our narcotics program altogether. Doing all that, our violent crime has come down,” Crispen said.

In that same time period, violent crime is doing by 27 percent.

“We're trying to make it feel safer, both from a perception and a reality,” Crispen said.