UNION CITY (KPIX/CBS SF) – After a tragic week of mass shootings around the country in public spaces, including El Paso, Dayton and Gilroy, the imperative on Tuesday’s National Night Out was to help re-establish comfort when leaving your home.

Celebrated on the first Tuesday of August, the annual campaign brings law enforcement and residents together at neighborhood gatherings.

From the dogs on the grills, to Ace, the police K-9 on the grass, Union City celebrated National Night Out in Kennedy Park, and throughout the city.

“We want people to come out, we want people to not be afraid and we can’t stop living because unfortunately, some people choose to make bad decisions,” said Crystal Raine-Loyola of the Union City Police Department.

The city’s police chief agreed.

“We want our residents and those who work here and visit here to feel comfortable being in Union City,” said Union City Police Chief Jared Rinetti. “Having a relationship, knowing those that are protecting you, serving you, brings that comfort back. Knowing that it’s okay to go out and that things are safe,”

It’s a fact not lost on residents.

“This kinda brings everybody together and tells you police are just there to help, they’re people too. It’s more of a family, the whole city with the fire department, police department that kinda stuff,” one man told KPIX5.

Beyond those in uniform, it was also about getting people to meet their neighbor in an era where you’re more likely to stay in touch with friends across the country, than those down the block.

“When you get people over here and they get to know each other – it’s less likely they’re going to hate each other or have suspicions about each other,” said Union City Councilmember Jaime Patino.

Meanwhile, there were National Night Out events in San Francisco and across the Bay Area including a live musical performance outside Oakland’s Main Library under the stars, and a health fair with free vaccinations and screenings, in Vallejo.

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