At the Stoneybrook apartments in Southeast Fresno, kids played in the bounce house. While hot dogs cooked on the grill.
Not so long ago, families didn't want to spend time outside here.
“Before, you didn't see kids playing outside. And really that's what life is all about,” said Debbie Der Torosian, the manager at Stoneybrook.
The people here took the message of national night out to heart.
“Family oriented and community oriented, so we can all spot out who does not belong here,” said Veronica Griffin who lives at Stoneybrook.
The apartment complex used to be ruled by criminals and gang members, until the people who live here started to work with police.
“And when we can work together and take away the anonymity of some of these criminals that are roaming through neighborhoods, that's when we can have a positive impact in our community,” said Jerry Dyer, Fresno Police Chief.
In the fig garden community, the night was about getting to know neighbors.
And the sheriff's deputies who protect them - including the four legged ones.
“He likes being petted his name's jimmy,” said Deputy Ericka Rascon who works with K-9 Jimmy.
People made new friends.
“By having events like this neighbors get to know each other pretty soon they know who belongs and who doesn't and they can call each other,” said Fresno Sheriff Margaret Mims.
And families got to have fun too.
“Mostly our three year old son was really excited to see the fire truck. So that was the driving force,” said Lynae Savala, who lives in Fig Garden.
His wish came true. And these neighbors are now more connected, united together against the criminals.