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      Flint Police hosts National Night Out in effort to unite neighborhoods

      Flint police threw a block party of sorts Monday afternoon, in an effort to unite the public against crime and drugs.

      Along with Target and local organizations, Flint law enforcement agencies took part in the 29th annual National Night Out, an evening of family fun, live music and carnival-style games behind city hall.

      Organizers said the goal was to encourage families and neighbors to get to know one another, and to help them to take back the city from recent crime and violence.

      ??We are not in the habit of knowing our neighbors the way that we used to, and we need to get back to that,?? said Flint police officer Tanya Meeks.

      ??We need to get back to everybody knowing who's supposed to be there, who's not, what looks familiar and what looks unfamiliar. That's one of the things we're trying to do there. Encourage everyone to get back to the way things used to be.??

      Event coordinator Lamar Carson of the Target store on Lapeer and Center is a Flint native, and said Monday was a family affair. His father, wife and son all took part in various activities.

      ??This is one of the things we can all share, the common goal, which is a safer environment to have our kids grow up in, and make sure that it thrives,?? Carson said.

      Families were encouraged to turn on outdoor lights and hold cook-outs and block parties of their own.

      Other communities throughout are observing National Night Out Tuesday.