LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — National Night Out kicked off in Lancaster with everything from tug of war to impromptu dancing.
This event happens almost every year – with the exception of last year because of the pandemic. For Lancaster police, it was an opportunity for them to interact with the community they serve.
It comes after the death of George Floyd in May of 2020 which sparked nationwide outrage. Many cities saw marches and protests against police brutality and calls for reform.
Lancaster faced its own reckoning months later after Ricardo Munoz was shot and killed by a city police officer. Police say he was brandishing a knife after a mental health episode, and his death touched off more protests.
The tensions in the city eventually led to the ouster of former Police Chief Jarrard Berkihiser, as he and Mayor Sorace did not share the same vision for the police department.
John Bey has now taken over as Chief and his vision for the city is already in motion.
Karen Schloer from the boys and girls club says she hopes Lancaster comes out of this, and into a renaissance of community policing.
“There was a day and age not too long ago that people sat down on their porches and said ‘I know you little Johnny. I know where you are supposed to be and you’re not supposed to be out right now’ and National Night Out is trying to get back to that. Connect people with people in the neighborhood with the resources that are out there,” Karen Schloer, CEO at the Boys and Girls Club Lancaster said.