Southern Minnesota celebrates National Night Out, though some towns have changed the name

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 10:24 PM CDT
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(KTTC) – Food, games and the whole neighborhood coming together, National Night Out celebrations were held across southern Minnesota Tuesday.

“I think that’s what’s important about any community, when you know all the people around you, and the people that are here to serve you,” said Austin Firefighter Ben Walker.

“I love getting a rapport with people, there’s actually a lot of people that are like ‘hey remember that officer, that’s officer Mueller,’” said Austin Police Officer Hannah Mueller

The purpose of National Night Out is all about getting residents familiar with their neighborhoods, as well as the public services that keep them safe.

“Families can come down here and just kind of get to know officers in the community,” said Austin Police Officer Josh Bradley.

However, some Minnesota communities have decided to change the name from National Night Out to Night to Unite, like in Rochester.

“It highlights at a greater level that desire for unity and alignment with our community,” said Rochester Police Chief Jim Franklin.

Franklin says including the word ‘unite,’ is important, as his department’s goal is to change the narrative on how law enforcement is portrayed.

“I feel there’s a great misunderstanding of law enforcement across this country, so this is an opportunity for us again, to not only educate, but also engage and hear from the community,” Franklin said.

“That whole thing of uniting, I think it’s wise. Sometimes that gets lost, you know, why are we getting together,” said Former Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede.

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