Dallas Police Chief David Brown met Tuesday night with homeowners concerned about crime during the annual Neighborhood Night Out.
Every year, political leaders and law enforcement agencies ask people to get out and get to know their neighbors as part of a national effort to reduce crime. The event is designed to allow residents to mingle with each other and the officers who patrol their neighborhoods.
"I think it just creates this cohesiveness that criminals have a hard time penetrating, and we're much safer once we get involved with each other," Brown said.
Community gatherings such as the one at Mark Twain Elementary School were one of several throughout the city. Brown said he found it fitting to return to the elementary school he attended as a child for his first Neighborhood Night Out as Dallas' police chief.
"It's really similar to the old block parties that we used to have here in this city that I'm familiar with, having grown up here," Brown said.
Crime in Dallas is down 9 percent so far this year, and Brown isn't the only one encouraged by the numbers.
"I'm happy to say we are down a little in our neighborhood," said Ola Allen, president of the Marsalis Park Homeowners Association.
"We're down and I'm so proud of that," she said.
Brown said he expects overall crime in Dallas to be down double digits by the end of the year if things continue as is.