RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh police officers made stops in more than a dozen neighborhoods on Tuesday for National Night Out. One of those stops was at Washington Terrace. Neighbors like Latishia Coleman said that the event allowed them to connect with cops in a fun environment.
They enjoyed food, and music and received free backpacks full of school supplies. They also shared their concerns about the current state of police and community relations.
Coleman said she wants a stronger police presence at Washington Terrace.
"I would like to see law enforcement just come around and patrol a little more often, and whatever they seem to find, then handle it," she said.
Holly Anderson said her concerns go deeper. She wants more transparency within the police force.
"I don't trust the police at all. At all," said Anderson.
She said the only time she sees police is when something bad happens.
"I don't know them. Only if it is violence out here do you see them," she said. "If someone has to call them out here, then you'll see them. "
Raleigh Police want to change that perception. National Night was a part of their continued effort to collaborate with the community after a tense two years for police and residents.
"We get those calls all the time. We want to see more officers in this area and we are happy to do that because we know that's how we build strong relationships," said Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson.
The chief of police said community relationships are key to fighting crime.
"When there's an incident, we are not waiting to try and figure out what happened," Patterson said. "We have community members to come forward just talking to us about it. They're providing information on whoever is committing the crimes. This is the best way for us to collaborate and be together."