Today’s news:

Grateful community joins cops on the beat

Borough cops and community kids walked the beat together last week as they celebrated yet another round of successful National Night Out Against Crime celebrations.

From Coney Island to Canarsie and every spot in between, residents celebrated continued crime drops in Brooklyn as well as the city.

Yet the war against crime continues. At each event, which was sponsored by local precinct community councils and businesses, police handed out reams of important information about how one can better protect their homes, cars and property. Event attendees -- especially children -- were also encouraged to enroll in special NYPD programs, like bike etching and iPod and cell phone registrations since many of the robberies in the last year have involved pricey electronics.

“[Night Out Against Crime] was really a great event,” said Lt. James Woods of Brooklyn South Community Affairs, who attended the 63rd Precinct celebration at the Georgetowne Shopping Center on Ralph Avenue. “We received a lot of participation from each precinct and the communities they protect. The communities showed that they appreciate the police’s efforts and vice versa cops showed their love of the community.”

Woods said he was heartened to hear that so many children showed up at National Night Out Against Crime events.

“Kids were able to see police officers doing other things than arresting people,” he said. “They saw another slice of life about policing instead of the TV version.”

Since the first National Night Out was established back in the early 1980s, residents have gathered to heighten crime and drug awareness, learn about local anti-crime programs and strengthen both neighborhood spirit and the bonds between the community and their NYPD.

Things have certainly turned a corner since the first National Night Out Against Crime 26 years ago, but cops and civilians make it a point to gather together and celebrate the ever strengthening bonds they share.

Although crime hasn’t gone away, it has certainly dropped over the last few years.

According to recently released NYPD CompStat statistics, crime in Patrol Borough Brooklyn South dropped 15 percent over the last year. Felony crime in southern Brooklyn has also dropped 41 percent in the last four years and 78 percent in the last eight years respectively, statistics show.

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