UPDATE: Tuesday night's event is a tradition that goes back to the 80's.

Here in Chattanooga, officers were set up at 12 different locations, including Eastdale Youth and Family Development.

Channel 3 spoke to a woman there who says right now, feeling safe in your own community is more important than ever.

“I just realize that the world is a reality; crime is a reality, and the city is growing and sometimes when a city grows so does crime,” says Miranda Sims.

Miranda Sims has been a part of the North Brainerd community for years. She says events like this one aren't new but seeing her neighbors interact with each other never gets old.

“We'll it's called National Night Out and before it's national it has to be local,” says Sims.

The event included prizes, food, music, and also the men and women who protect and serve.

Sims says getting to know them is important.

“People don't know the face of the police officers,” Sims says. “They know the navy blue or a midnight blue uniforms but they don't know their name; they don't know where they come from, if they're natives here, and I think that's important.”

The Chattanooga Police Department has made it its mission to build a stronger relationship with the community in order to stop crime.

Sims says fear of retaliation has prevented that. But, after recent tragedies around the world, she says we can long afford to be afraid.

“I'm not going to lie I feel that way, too; but, I also don't want to be afraid to walk around and go to my own community and use the goods and services that I need in my neighborhood,” says Sims.

“We want positive news and we might have to contribute to that,” adds Sims.

Tuesday, 38-million neighbors in 16,000 communities across the nation take part in National Night Out.

PREVIOUS STORY: Local law enforcement are inviting the community to come together for National Night out, an annual relationship building campaign between police and the communities they serve.

The event began informally in 1984 by Matt Peskin, founder and executive director of National Association of Town Watch which thenbecame the National Night Out program.

For events in Chattanooga see the list below.

In Collegedale from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM you can head to The Commons on 4950 Swinyar Drive.