Smiles filled a pleasant fall evening in downtown Copperas Cove as residents came together for the annual National Night Out Kickoff Party.

The event, which happens each year nationwide on the first Tuesday in October, was hosted by the Copperas Cove Police Department.

National Night Out began in 1984, and started in communities throughout the United States and Canada.

The idea behind the event was to bring the local community together, and to foster positive relationships between police departments and communities.

It is also an opportunity for people to make their communities safer by watching out for their neighbors next door or down the street.

The event was in downtown Copperas Cove, where food, entertainment, face painting, bounce houses and games for the kids were provided. There were also prizes raffled off. Many local and national businesses come to support the event.

Deborah Dexter loves coming out to the National Night Out Kickoff Party each year. Hopes of winning the raffle added an additional incentive.

Kaydence Weary is a former Junior Ambassador of the Copperas Cove Five Hills Scholarship Pageant, and said, “I like coming to the National Night Out Kickoff Party because of the food, games and the greatest part is to meet new people, and see old friends.”

The Sharbeno family tries to come to as many community events as possible. They love coming to the National Night Out Kickoff Party each year,

Police Officer John Bartlett said the community support is 100 percent effective as far as getting something done is concerned.

“We cannot do our jobs without the citizens, and with their support and connecting with the police department, we can do our job a lot better,” Bartlett said. “We are very successful because of the citizens. An event like this where we can come out and meet everybody is absolutely great.”

Heather Cross is with the H-E-B marketing department, and helps coordinate community events for the store.

“It is a great thing to be able to come and be out with the community,” she said.

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