NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City police precincts took part in National Night Out on Tuesday.

The event is aimed at refining crime prevention, documenting successful strategies, providing technical assistance to crime prevention programs, and developing the National Night Out website.

Mayor Bill de Blasio was on hand and as 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported, it was the first chance — since being named the next commissioner — for James O’Neill to speak directly to the public.

He took the opportunity to explain his concept of neighborhood policing to people in Astoria.

“We have the sector cops in the same place every day, with the same hours, so they’ll know the people calling 911. They’ll know the people calling 311, they’ll know the residents,” he said.

The incoming commissioner said it wouldn’t have happened without the mayor and city council approving the hiring of 1,300 new cops.

Night out events took place around the city and in New Jersey where cops and firefighters celebrated the even on the Newark city football field with SWAT, mobile command units, horses, and a rescue boat in tow.

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