New Orleans hosted its annual National Night Out Against Crime event last night with food, fun, prizes, music, and gunshots for the whole family.
At the event, held in neighborhoods across the city, the community got up close and personal with first responders and criminals, including a man who kicked things off with a celebratory gunshot wound in the St. Roch area.
One of the victims, a 26-year-old in serious but stable condition whose name has been withheld pending family notification said he had his fair share of fun at the Night Out Against Crime held in St. Roch.
“I got some cotton candy and a ride in the ambulance!” said the victim. “You get to have your vitals taken in the ambulance and you get to be wheeled in and do the sirens!”
Attendees of the events got to meet local law enforcement officers, learn the most advanced ways to watch neighborhoods from behind window blinds, practiced calling and texting 911 while driving, and discovered ways to make interactions with criminals more efficient.
Deputy Superintendent Alfred Bloom of the New Orleans Police Department said that not only is the community getting involved with first responders and criminals who they may one day meet again but also noted this is a great way to build better relationships.
“Most folks in New Orleans never have any meaningful face-time with first responders or criminals. All people see is negative news that frames situations in a bad light. We needed a way to show the other side so we do it a little different here,” said Bloom. “This event is a good way to bridge that gap and develop solid relationships for future interaction. This event helps people get to know the individuals who may be one day rob them or respond to the situation.”
The St. Roch victim, who is scheduled for several additional surgeries later today, found the event memorable until losing consciousness.
“I never actually get to see a policeman, firefighters, paramedics or criminals face-to-face and talk to them and stuff so it’s really cool and interesting to see what…,” said the victim from his hospital bed before the pain medication knocked him out.