First responders hang out with Coast residents at Night out against Crime in Waveland

Ever wonder what it was like to hangout and just spend the day with a police office, fire fighter, or first responder?

The Hancock County community had the chance this weekend at the National Night out against Crime event.

National Night out against Crime is an event some first responders look forward to the most as they put on their uniforms and interact with the public on a personal level, getting a break from their work duties.

Bay St. Louis Police Chief Toby Schwartz says he was thrilled to see a good turnout since they didn’t have the event last year due to COVID. “You have all the first responders here, representing the county. We have all a lot of props for the kids and for the adults as well. It’s a way for us to connect with the community. For the community to come out and enjoy the food, speak with the officers, and first responders and get to know us and for us to get to know you.”

This was not only a great opportunity to get to know your local first responders, but a great way to introduce the kids to the people that protect our communities. Attendee Colin Ladner said, “They get to explore the vehicles and kind of get a feel for what they do and who they are. So, you know, I think it’s a good, in the future they won’t be strangers. They will see these people and know that ‘hey, they are here to help.’”

Having one on one interaction with Gulf Coast residents not only helps when it comes to building relationships, but important when it comes to retaining police recruits.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 75 percent of agencies reported that recruiting is more difficult today than it was five years ago. Chief Schwartz said, “I encourage anyone interested in law enforcement to come by, get an application. We’d be happy to give you a look because law enforcement and as police officers, it’s a very rewarding field to be in.”

Categories: Local News, News