Hundreds of community members mingled with dozens of local law enforcement officials Tuesday at Ashley Park in New Bedford's south end as part of the annual National Night Out Against Crime. 

The event, hosted by Neighborhoods United, showcased law enforcement, their equipment and their vehicles for the community to get to know officers better as just regular people.

In light of recent attack on law enforcement and national media attention, this year's underlying theme was to honor officers who have sacrificed their lives and reminding residents to thank and appreciate their local first responders.

New Bedford Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro encouraged the crowd to spread his message of unity and tolerance.

"We're in this together," Cordeiro said. "Enough with division, we need to be tolerant to one another and respectful of our similarities."

Personnel from all over the SouthCoast took part in the event, including New Bedford Police, Dartmouth Police, Fairhaven Police, Massachusetts State Police, Massachusetts Environmental Police, Bristol County District Attorney's Office, New Bedford Fire Department and many others.

Families enjoyed many free activities and food as well as a bike raffle by the NBPD.

"I think it's really nice they put this together for everybody, it's very nice to see everybody getting together, getting along and just having fun," said one attendee.

The event is also a time for officers involved with city youth to check in on where they are now.

"I actually have a couple of students that graduated years and years ago who have their own kids now so it's a great opportunity for me to see where they are and where they've been and what they're doing now for themselves," said Officer Willie Coates, a school resource officer at New Bedford High School.