Tuesday night was the 30th annual "National Night Out". Across the continent more than 37 million people in 15,000 communities networked with their local law enforcement, organizers estimate.
In Jackson, Mayor Chokwe Lumumba with an entourage including Hinds County Sheriff Tyrone Lewis and Police Chief Lindsey Horton started their tour of the picnic-style events at the "Village Apartments".
One goal of the National Night Out is opening communications between authorities and neighborhoods, according to the National Night Out website.
"This is the way all over the country. We show for positive action in the community and against any kind of anti-social behavior in crime," Mayor Lumumba said.
In Clinton, neighbors also joined together with the same goal. One get-together was pushed by people living on Country Wood Circle in the city.
And away from the metro - in the more rural city Utica - city officials discussed unique challenges when it comes to crime in those types of areas.
"When you have as much crime as you do in Jackson and the other towns, the attention comes here to the small quiet town. But me being here all these years - this is my home town so suspicions, I see it. I know it," Utica Police Chief Timothy Miles said.
"We have just a small police department but when we need help the Hinds County Sheriff's Department is always there for us to back us up," Mayor Kenneth Broome said.
The first National Night Out happened in August of 1984. Officials estimate the event is 14 times larger than that inaugural year.