SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - National Night Out is going on all across the ArkLaTex Tuesday. It's the night citizens are encouraged to get to know their neighbors and law enforcement.
The goal of National Night Out is to build a personal relationship between law enforcement and the community they serve. But the question is, does it work, and does it have lasting effects?
To answer those questions, Caddo Commissioner Jerald Bowman invited us to his father's barber shop in the Mooretown neighborhood of Shreveport.
Jerry Bowman has been making people look their best for over 50 years. He's been at his location on Murvon Street for 32 years. While there's certainly a lot of hair cuts going on, there's also something more. It's called "Shop Talk."
"Shop talk is talk that goes on in the community. We talk about football, religious community, and we just talk about the community in general, and how we can make the community better out here," said Jerry Bowman.
The barber shop serves as a place to come together. Tuesday, several community leaders were there including Caddo Parish School Board member Dottie Bell, Caddo Sheriff's Office Captain Rick Farris and Caddo Commissioner Jerald Bowman.
"In community you have the word unity, and that's what it's going to take. We have to truly believe, and understand that we are better together," said Jerald Bowman.
Although we see negative relationships in communities around the country between law enforcement, and citizens, Captain Farris said that doesn't apply to the Shreveport area.
"I believe the law enforcement officers of Shreveport, and Caddo Sheriff's Office have a good working relationship with the community. They get out and try to get involved with things, and solve their crimes, and solve their issues, and their problems," said Farris.
The man who's earned the title the "Mayor of Mooretown" agrees that the National Night Out is a great event for the community, but he also offers some advice.
"I think we should do it more often. I think we should be more involved with each other more often. Not just one time a year. I think we should get together just as more often as possible," he said.
Captain Farris said law enforcement officers want to create those same comfortable, and personal relationships with the community as the barber shop has. He encourages all law enforcement officers to introduce themselves to the community they serve, and also asks that people introduce themselves to officers if they see them out and about.