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Valley police officers join forces with neighbors for a night out

By Laura Yanez, News Reporter, Laura.Yanez@cbslocal2.com
Published On: Oct 03 2012 04:16:33 AM CDT
Updated On: Oct 03 2012 04:17:28 AM CDT

Homeowners and rentor's around the deserts taking a stand against crime tonight for the 29th year of "national night out"

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -

Dozens of neighbors joined the Cathedral City Police Department for this year's National Night Out at Big League Dreams Sports Park in Cathedral City.

The night out was all about making a team effort to reduce crime and strengthen the bond between the community and law enforcement.

"We can't do this without the community. We need the community's eyes and ears," said Police Chief Kevin Conner.

Police officers were out and about chatting with the community and putting names to the faces they serve each day.

Neighbors like Nora Mercado brought her kids and a few questions for officers.
Mercado says she’s "making sure officers are patrolling our streets. It’s important to me."

With recent budget cuts stripping away positions within the department, officers want to make it clear they're still here.

"A police officer will be there. We're still a full service organization. Frankly, it's at a reduced level," said Conner.

The event was also a reminder for neighbors to lock their doors, turn on the outside lights and spend the night out with the rest of the neighborhood.

Mayor Kathy DeRosa threw the first pitch as the Cathedral City Police Officer’s Association took on the Palm Springs Police Officer's Association in a duel in the desert softball game.

"There's rivalry on the softball field. But they'd be backing us up in the line of duty," said Conner.

These young sergeants for the night made sure they delivered a special message to those protecting them.

"I would tell them thank you for helping our cities," said 11-year-old Samantha Gomez.

"I think it's awesome they took the time to spend it with us, the public,” said Mercado.

Cathedral City wasn't the only valley city participating, Desert Hot Springs also hosted a night out for the entire community.