PELHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Several local police and fire departments hosted their National Night Out events Tuesday. It’s a chance for people to get to know their first responders.

The National Night Out in Pelham comes just days after a shooting in the community and a few months after Pelham Officer Elizabeth Minter was hurt in the line of duty.

This event gave the community a chance to come together and check in on one another and find out what the police department is currently up to.

“It gives the community an opportunity to see that it’s more than just driving by, tickets and things like that. It’s so much more than that and so we definitely need that in our community,” says Pelham resident Latoya Brown.

Dozens of families came out Tuesday, some to enjoy the games and activities and others to learn more about what police officers do.

“They’re like kind of like our presidents like they help us to not get hurt,” says Kaiden, a kid enjoying the night.

“They protect our city from the bad guys,” says Holden, another kid having fun at the event.

The Pelham Police Department says National Night Out is a great opportunity for people in the community to tell them what’s going on in their neighborhoods without the pressure of calling 911.

“They don’t feel like they’re exposed when they’re here and they’re talking to us [Tuesday], where they may be worried about calling to have us show up at their house or their apartment or somewhere else or coming to the police department,” says Pelham Police Chief Brent Sugg. “They may be worried about someone seeing them.”

Some in the Pelham community say nights like these make it easier to interact with the police and they’re glad to form connections with the officers.