Law enforcement officers in San Diego County opened their doors to visitors Tuesday for the annual National Night Out.
The event to bring communities and law enforcement together takes on special meaning this year after the fatal shooting of Officer Jonathan De Guzman from the San Diego Police Department (SDPD).
De Guzman and Officer Wade Irwin were shot Thursday night in Southcrest.
Many community members who attended the event in City Heights said they were there to show support for law enforcement officers.
“With the last two tragic situations that just happened currently, by the community coming together and showing the symbol of peace, love and hope is how we could cure, heal from our wounds and make things happen in a good manner,” said Arthur Soriano, from a Youth Empowerment group in City Heights.
Soriano said the event represented a "civic engagement" where police and the community could come together and work through differences.
“We’re here to stay and we’re here to continue to build bridges,” he said.
Maria Cortez, a City Heights resident for 43 years told NBC 7 that the police department was like their family.
“We too depend on the police just as much as they depend on us,” she said.
SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman also attended the event.
“After what happened last week, I want our community to know that it’s our resolve to go out and protect our communities,” Zimmerman said.
She told NBC 7 that the community offered their condolences and words of encouragement to her and other officers.
“Our officers need to hear that,” she said.
SDPD attended the following events:
- Grape Day Park located at 321 N. Broadway in Escondido, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Colina Park, located at 5319 Orange Avenue, San Diego, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- National City Municipal Pool, located at 1800 E 22nd St., National City, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
This is the 33rd National Night Out, an event celebrated in about 16,000 communities across the United States.
[G] Local Police and Community Gather for National Night Out Events
If you can't were not able to make it out to one of these events, the San Diego Sheriff's Department (SDSO) is asking that you leave your porch light on as a sign of solidarity.