NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Police departments, fire departments and law enforcement agencies across North Texas celebrated National Night Out on Tuesday evening, Oct. 5 with a variety of events.

“I love it every year,” said Tyra Mitchell, who lives in the Bear Creek Ranch Community in Lancaster.

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Cars lined up in the parking lot of the Bear Creek Ranch Community Center for a chance to connect with their neighbors and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.

“I’m happy they’re doing something because we can still see other people, see the community and who’s helping us, as far as the police and the firefighters,” said Ashley Allen, who also lives in Bear Creek.

The COVID-friendly event looked very different than the typical National Night Out celebration.

National Night Out drive-thru event (Caroline Vandergriff – CBS 11)

“In the past, pre-pandemic, oh my gosh this whole area was just populated with people everywhere,” said Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown.

The sheriff thought a drive-thru option was the safest way to bring the community together this year.

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“You get the same amenities, the food, the literature, the great programs,” said Brian Davis, the HOA president of Bear Creek. “So it’s an adjustment, but I think we’ll make it.”

Dallas County Health and Human Services was there to offer first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Volunteers also gave the third booster dose to those who qualified.

“We’re vaccinated, but we’re glad to see that that’s out here,” Mitchell said. “That’s phenomenal.”

Tuesday night’s event came at a critical time.

“After a year and a half of social unrest, the bridge being broken between law enforcement and the community, it’s vital that we get out in the community as law enforcement and we say to them, hey we are still here,” Sheriff Brown said. “This is still a noble profession. We are still here for the purpose of taking care of, of guarding you.”

And there is still an appreciation for all they do, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

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“It brings a togetherness and it feels like it brings the trust back,” said Mitchell.

Caroline Vandergriff