BOSTON (CBS) — Boston’s Mayor and Police Commissioner visited a series of ‘National Night Out’ events Monday to encourage Bostonians to help end the recent wave of violence in the city.

Participants agreed that the gatherings in city parks are encouraging.

“It’s good to see our community come together. It is,” event goer Kate Hearns said.

She and her three children live in Roxbury and she’s pleased with the activity. “This is my first event and I live right across the street and I’m pretty impressed.”

Although the events featured dancing, tug-of-wars, face painting, and pizza, the message was crime prevention and building relationships between the people and police.

community talking to police Boston National Night Out: Building Relationships, Preventing Crime

A Bostonian and a clergyman talk with a Police Officer. (Photo credit: WBZ-TV)

The event comes only a couple of weeks after the murder of Andres Cruz, the owner of the AC Hardware Store who died protecting his store from an armed robbery.

Cruz’s friend Worku Arajaw said events like the “Night Out” are important.

“We have to do more things to protect our neighborhoods,” Arajaw said.

marty at night out Boston National Night Out: Building Relationships, Preventing Crime

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh at National Night Out. (Photo credit: WBZ-TV)

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is pleased with the turnout at the events.

“It’s a great community building tool,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said, and “The response has been unbelievable.”

The city has seen a higher rate of violence, so Commissioner Evans is encouraged by the turnout.

“We’re up on shootings. We’re up a few homicides. I think if you’re out here seeing the love from the community, it’s very encouraging to me,” Evans said.

Monday’s events were in Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, Mattapan, and other locations around the city.

The Mayor and Police Commissioner are scheduled to attend six more events on Tuesday, starting in East Boston at 3:15 pm and ending in Dorchester at 7:30 pm.


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