VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Across the country and throughout Hampton Roads, people gathered for National Night Out, an annual event against crime created to build positive relationships between police and the community.
Governor Glenn Youngkin traveled to his hometown of Virginia Beach to attend National Night Out.
"We have got a real challenge in the Commonwealth and across the country right now with violent crime on the rise. A 20-year high murder rate. So to see a community come together like this is so important," Youngkin told News 3's Leondra Head.
Youngkin said this is a way for police to build community relations.
"When you see a community come together like this tonight on National Night Out, it is so important that everybody locks arms together and makes a community commitment to bring crime down," Youngkin said.
This is Virginia Beach’s first full-scale National Night Out since the COVID-19 pandemic
"The police miss the community and we’re just glad to be out after a couple hard years of COVID," Chief Paul Neudigate told News 3's Leondra Head.
Some families who attended said they were coming to National Night Out for the first time.
"We’re just new to the community. We wanted to get out and see what’s going on in the area," a mother said.
"Now that people get to put a face with a uniform. We see police in their cars all the time or we see them responding to incidences. But We don’t really get to see them to say hi unless you're at an event like this," one Virginia Beach resident said.