WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — This year our local law enforcement agencies brought out all the stops for the annual community-building campaign National Night Out.

With a great turnout, National Night Out proved to be a big success for our community as it offered some great one-on-one time for the community to see all the ways law enforcement protects and serves.

“For us to be able to be out with the community, folks get to come in see the equipment, meet the deputies and firefighters from the different agencies,” Wichita County Sheriff David Duke said. “It’s important for all of our community to understand we’re here to help them. Doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, where you live; you call, we’re gonna come help you.”

National Night Out is an annual event that promotes police-community relationships, relationships that are needed now more than ever.

“That’s one of our biggest priorities is serving our community that serves us, so we want to get to know them because, as officers, we’re humans, too,” Officer Brian Arias with WFPD said. “In the end, we need the community to trust us as much as we trust them.”

All the officers from our law enforcement agencies said it’s great meeting their neighbors, and residents said the feeling is mutual.

“We got to go in the SWAT truck,” one girl said. “We got to look in there and sit down. I like that they’re pretty much saving a lot of people’s lives every day.”

And the relationships don’t have to stop here.

“They can come to the Citizen’s Academy,” Duke continued. “They can contact our Community Services Division, and they’ll get them hooked up with that to see exactly what the Sheriff’s Office does.”

To learn how you can participate in the Citizen’s Academy, a free service, visit the Wichita County Sheriff’s Office’s website.