Wilkes-Barre hosting its National Night Out

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — An annual celebration is happening on Public Square in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

“I believe it’s extremely important and there’s no way you’re going to build a community together if everybody doesn’t come out to be together,” Kelli Pierce of New Roots Recovery Support Center said.

And that’s why Wednesday’s event on Public Square is so important to help build the relationship between the public and local authorities. National Night Out is an annual celebration set for the first Tuesday every August across the nation.

The city of Wilkes-Barre is observing the event Wednesday. The purpose is to allow the community to come out and speak with the fire and police departments.

Members of the community can ask them questions about their own safety and build a sense of trust with officials. Many other booths are set up, including the Wilkes-Barre City Health Department and Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services. Eyewitness News spoke with Wilkes-Barre’s community policing officer, who says both sides are equally important to keep the community safe.

“As a community, the police department does a lot of help but we need the community to help us sometimes,” Kirk Merchel, Wilkes-Barre Community Policing Officer said.

“It helps with the firemen and the policemen, it makes within the action of the city, it makes the city safe. It makes the kids want to be able to speak to the police and not be scared of them,” Greg Thompson of Nanticoke said.

Wilkes-Barre’s National Night Out offers a selfie booth, a lemonade stand, and many other vendors.

National Night Out runs until 8 p.m. Wednesday. It is free and open to the public.

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