KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A nationwide effort to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and their communities is just around the corner. On Oct. 12, the Knoxville Police Department is asking neighborhood watch groups, homeowner associations, and other community groups to hold an event where police and community members can get to know each other.

The events are a way for the department to strengthen its relationships within the community. According to Officer John Morgan, in years past events have been scattered across the area. Events can range from cookouts to block parties to a meet-and-greet.

National Night Out began in 1984 and took place across 400 communities in 23 states. Now, all communities in all 50 states participate in the event. In Tennessee, 40 cities across the state are planning to hold block parties and other community events as a part of the event.

For those who want to set up an event this year, contact Morgan at jmorgan@knoxvilletn.gov or call his office at 215-1510 by October 8. The time and place of the event is set up by the organizer.