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Annual National Night Out held in Columbus

Columbus Police vehicles outside the division headquarters.
David Holm

Residents are holding 160 events throughout Columbus, firing up their grills and pulling out their lawn chairs to meet with Columbus Police for the annual National Night Out Event. The live music, porch light vigils, cookouts and kid's games are just a backdrop as police work to improve relationships with the residents they serve throughout the city.

Officer Dan Yandrich expects crime prevention to be a hot topic.

“It's another avenue for everybody to get together to express their concerns maybe for the community and just put a face on the Columbus division of police and officers who might attend that we're humans do, and we can listen to your questions and try to get answers for you if you have concerns in the community,” said Officer Yandrich, who is a community liaison officer.

The Columbus Police K9 Unit, Therapy Dog Unit, SWAT Unit, Mounted Unit, Recruiting Unit and more will take part in NNO events.

Officers say National Night Out is designed to promote police-community partnerships; heighten crime, drug and violence awareness; generate support for anti-crime efforts; and build neighborhood unity by sending a message to criminals that neighborhoods are fighting back.

“We want the community to talk to us I know there's been a lot of violence in Columbus again this is a great night to come out just get out of that house maybe you feel like you're confined in a house come out and talk, “ said Yandrich.

National Night Out is being held from 5 pm to 9 pm Tuesday night.

Williams was a reporter for WOSU. Natasha is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and has more than 20 years of television news and radio experience.