PEKIN, Ill. -- Local law enforcement officers educated thousands of central Illinois residents on public health and safety services during Pekin's 11th annual Night Out Against Crime.
The event included live seat belt simulations and K-9 demonstrations.
While the event served as an informational tool for the community, it was also a way for law enforcement to connect with residents.
"I'm hoping he understands the importance of seat belts," said Pekin mother, Joanna Hindahl. "Usually, he is really good about it. I just really hope they are all going to learn safety on everything."
"When they see us in the squad car sometimes that can be intimidating," said Pekin Public Information Officer Mike Eeten. "However, we want them to be able to come up to us, shake our hand, and have fun. We can play games with them here. We can give them some food, candy, and toys. It's just a way for us to have some fun for the community."
Organizers estimate that this year's night out broke last year's record of 2,000 participants.