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Residents join police in Miami for National Night Out.
Tuesday's National Night Out was a chance to meet the people who work to keep our communities safe and as the City of Miami came together to celebrate, police had one goal in mind.
"To work hand in hand with the public in order to build better relationships for one common goal, to fight crime," said Sergeant Freddie Cruz with Miami Police Department.
Yet one of the police department's greatest challenges has been gaining trust. That's where people like Eller Kitchen come in. She's a member of Citizens on Patrol, a volunteer group that encourages neighbors to serve as the eyes and ears of their communities.
"We make sure if we see something like, we report it," she said.
Miami Police say they've recently seen decreases in crime in certain neighborhoods like in Allapattah.
"But we've had an uptick in The Grove, Little Havana and the Upper East Side," said the Chief of Police, Manuel Orosa.
In Coconut Grove, Orosa says the increase has been seen in property crimes. This tends to happen during the summer, when kids are home from school.
"They tend to get in trouble sometimes because they don't participate in park activities or their parents are working and their home alone," said Orosa.
The Police Explorers don't have trouble staying busy. They volunteer their time, hoping to one day carry the badge with honor.
"I'm really interested in being a homicide detective," said Carolina Marrero, an incoming high school freshman.
By fostering these positive relationships between law enforcement and the community, police hope to make the streets safer for everyone.