Norristown Police Department holds National Night Out to strengthen ties to community

The Norristown Police Department held its National Night Out celebration on Tuesday in an effort to strengthen the relationship between the community and local emergency responders. 

The community block part gave neighbors a chance to connect with local authorities in a fun environment that included live music and face painting. 

"One of the goals is building that strong trust with the community so when something does happen, they'll be witnesses, call 911 when they hear gunshots or anything like that," Norristown Police Chief Derrick Wood said. 


Wood, a former inspector for the Philadelphia Police Department, was appointed to lead the Norristown department in December. Tuesday was Wood's first National Night Out as leader of the Norristown Police Department. 

"When I came here back in December to be the chief, I told the community I need you to step up," Wood said. "We can't make this a safer community without working together."

There were plenty of first-timers in the crowd on Tuesday night. Austin Douglas recently moved to Norristown and brought hit 4-year-old son to the block party.

 "I think community is a huge thing," Douglas said. 

Likewise, Demetri Orelue and Courtney Hasson brought their children and other family members to the block party. 

"It's good for the neighborhood," Hasson said. 

Norristown wasn't alone in their effort to try to strengthen community bonds, other departments in Pennsylvania and New Jersey also held National Night Out celebrations.