CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Tuesday night thousands of neighbors will gather to catch-up, enjoy games, and get to know their police officers across the city.
It's part of the National Night Out program, which Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have participated in for the past 25 years. This year is different because of a 51% increase in NNO events. CMPD plans on having officers at all 92 gatherings.
Officer Johnathan Frisk says the greater participation shows neighbors want to get know their officers. Frisk says he's received countless phone calls and emails this year from neighborhood leaders who want to organize an NNO party.
The higher interest comes at a time when CMPD has charted an uptick in crime and community relations have been strained over use of force cases and bias training.
In Plaza-Midwood, Neighborhood Association President John Wheeler is helping to plan his community's NNO gathering, which includes a bouncy house for the kids. The neighborhood has a long history of NNO celebrations but took a break the past couple of years.
Wheeler says it's a good time to re-commit to NNO. Plaza Midwood has a strong neighborhood network through the Association, social media, and websites like NextDoor, which has helped neighbors work to address crime issues the past year. It's a busy social district which attracts people from all over the city to its restaurants and shops.
CMPD expects some NNO events may attract a few dozen neighbors, while some could host up to 400 people.
To see NNO locations in Charlotte, click here.