Memphians celebrate "National Night Out"

With music, friends and a whole lot of food, dozens of Memphis neighborhoods banded together for one purpose and one message.

Memphian Tonja Mitchell says, "You need to be active if you want to keep your community safe.  If not, the gang bangers are going to take over and all kind of crime is going to take over."

Whether in Downtown or Midtown, South Memphis or North Memphis, those who turned out for National Night Out say they know if they want to curb crime where they live, they've got to pitch in.

Midtown resident Donna Karney says, "Security in our neighborhood is not something that the police can do by themselves.  Everyone has to be involved and we have to look out for each other."

Not just by peeking out windows, but hitting the problem at its source.

Memphian Sarah Jones says, "We need to start in the home teaching parents how to be parents to their children and then teaching children how to be a friend to their friends."

Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin says the community's show of support is overwhelming.

Godwin says, "They've stepped up to the plate.  I don't think there's any question about that."

Nor is their any question about who plans on winning the City's War on Crime.

Godwin continues, "Citizens are watching.  They're not afraid to turn them in, and all they got to do is make that phone call to us and we're going to deal with it."

The message... While neighbors watch their backs, the criminals should be watching theirs.