ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Members of Rochester's Northwest community came together to celebrate National Night Out with a picnic at Ontario Beach Park. A tradition kept by those neighborhoods for 35 years.

"All the neighborhoods we kind of come together and meet at a location within one of the neighborhoods to have a picnic that night and show our support for RPD and the Fire Department and our service center," said Jonathan Hardin, Charlotte Community Association President.

It all kicked off with a motorcade of police cars, fire trucks and ambulances.

"We travel through all the different neighborhoods in the northwest to come here to celebrate togetherness and having fun," said RPD Lt. Rich Waldo.


National Night Out began as an idea to make communities safer and more caring places to live. That includes fostering positive bonds with law enforcement.

"Just because you have on a uniform, we have to understand that they're human as well and everybody has a job to do. I think that once we're all educated about what we all do and why we do what we do, then we can be better as a whole," said Tammi Herron with the City of Rochester.

It's also a chance for the community to show their support for those who serve them.

"They say 'hi' to you and they say 'is everything going good?' I feel safe and protected by them," said Zaviona Radcliff of Rochester. 

"Very kind, because they're putting up their time to save our lives," said Audrianna DeJesus of Rochester.

"It's good to hear people say 'thank you and we appreciate what you do,'" said Waldo.