APPLETON, Wis. A picnic in Appleton hopes to create a stronger community bond between law enforcement, churches and the public. When the annual picnic started three years ago, the goal was to break the tension between police officers and local communities.
Building Relationships community picnic held at Peabody Park in Appleton
The “Building Relationships” community picnic wants to break down any barriers within the community. Appleton Fire Department, Appleton Police Department and Family First Ministries teamed up to host the picnic.
"The mayor is out here and community leaders are out here just coming to break down barriers, build up relationships, have people just kind of meet each other get to know one another and that's the purpose of today," said Cheri Hohner with Family First Ministries.
During the picnic firefighters and police officers are interacting with families in the community to get to know one another.
"It's just something that we wanted to build, that relationship, have people comfortable, so if they feel threatened in any sort of way or have questions they can easily go to those who serve and protect us," said Hohner.
Appleton mayor, Timothy Hanna, says it's important for the people of the community to feel like they belong.
"It’s events like this and so many other things that happen in Appleton that you're trying to convey that feeling that no matter who you are or where you've come from you're welcome here," said Mayor Hanna.
Hohner says last year the picnic saw upwards of a hundred people, she hopes the event will continue to grow.
"These are my friends and I try to show that I support them, that the city supports them, and welcome them as part of the community, and so I think it's important," added Mayor Hanna.