Frank Jackson

Source: Bill Pugliano / Getty Images News

Tuesday night marked the 28th annual Night Out Against Crime event in Cleveland.

Mayor Frank Jackson made sure to greet the crowd, but it’s about more than fun and games this year.

“There’s a general notion of we need to reduce crime,” the Mayor said.

Violent crime is on a downswing in Cleveland. Only murders increased last year and stats show law enforcement is doing its job. The ballgame between Cleveland police officers and the city’s youth, however, is meant to strengthen what some consider a weakness within the department; Its relations with the community.

“Now we are having more of a conversation around community policing,” the Mayor added.

Incidents like the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice and the deadly police chase in 2012 have parts of the city on edge.

“No one is going to get over the loss of a young child,” the Mayor said, “but this is what we are doing as a part of a mayor’s night out.”

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