FORT GREENE — Rihanna played on the sound system, kids lined up for a chance to jump in the bounce house, free food was were served by volunteers, and local vendors displayed their goods. Police officers barbecued burgers and showed young children their notepads and the way they issue tickets.
The 29th annual Night Out Against Crime packed Fort Greene Park with babies, seniors and everyone in between, all there under the same cause. They wanted to see one day without crime.
The first National Nigth Out, in 1984, saw the participation of 400 communities in 23 states. Last year, according to the website, the event involved 37.0 million people in 15,110 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide.
"This event gives police officers the chance to interact with the community in a fun way," said Delia Hunley, President of the City Council's 35th District. "It also just brings people of all ages together."
In a district where there has been two murders, 256 instances of grand larceny, and 121 felony assaults this year alone, to ask for one day without crime may be asking a lot. But the community is still willing to try.
"All we ask is that for one day there is peace," said Hunley. "If nothing else, just a day."
The Community Council, partnered with the 88th Precinct spends close to a year to plan the event. They book entertainers, vendors, community orgainzations, and food donations. They also apply for annual funding for the event. Target sponosored this year's event with a grant, donations and gifts for the kids.
Capt. Scott Henderson, commanding officer of the 88th Precinct, stood in the park talking to community members with a jolly smile.
"Today we all get along," he said. "We have no problems."