OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) --Tonight is 'National Night Out' and many Bay Area neighborhoods will gather together to promote police and community partnerships.
This comes at a time when tension is high between many people and police. This is the 33rd National Night out. Police say every year they gain insight into the needs and concerns of the community. This year they expect to have some tough conversations, but they're hoping it will help in the long run.
This year's block parties are especially significant for Oakland, where the mayor is expected to join in on the festivities.
In Oakland, the welcome signs, the rentals for kids, have materialized block by block.
For Brenda Johnson and her neighbor Katie Young, the party began Monday with preparations for 40, maybe 50 people.
"Tonight is the dialogue, we put down the shield and that's for the police, as well as the neighbors to talk about issues and get to know each other," Johnson said.
"It is a community party," Young said.
RELATED: 'National Night Out' events take place in San Francisco
In these parts, getting to know Young includes the bible on her table, the family pictures on the mantle, talking about President Obama on the wall and mostly her kids. She had done neighborhood day care for almost a quarter century.
"I remember them all, name by name. Never forget a face or a name," Young said.
Young rattles off success stories with pride. She also mourns the few sad ones, dragged down by neighborhood circumstances.
"In my mind, I've had maybe five that I know of who have gone to prison. Good kids," she said.
They're victims of stacked odds, and miscommunication, the ladies say and that's one reason they hope to see the Oakland police Tuesday night.
"Our kids need to see the police are OK," Young said.
"We also want the police officers to see our children," Johnson said.
National Night out events in the Bay Area:
3 p.m.: NNO kick-off event in San Pablo, Davis Park, Folsom Avenue and 17th Street, San Pablo
4 p.m.: NNO event hosted by the Colma police department, Serra Center parking lot, 5001 Junipero Serra Blvd., Colma.
4 p.m.: BART National Night Out presence at six stations: Ashby, Castro Valley, Montgomery, Pittsburg/Bay Point, Rockridge, San Bruno.
4 p.m. NNO Salinas, hosted by the city of Salinas and the Community Alliance for Safety and Peace, Constitution Soccer Fields, 1440 Constitution Blvd., Salinas.
5 p.m.: NNO potluck dinner at St. Vinnie's Community Garden in Vallejo, 1200 Marin St.
5 p.m.: NNO event at Pittsburg's Small World Park, 2551 Harbor St., Pittsburg.
5 p.m.: NNO celebration at the Rohnert Park City Center, 475 City Center Drive.
5 p.m.: Ice cream social event at the Regional Medical Center of San Jose, helipad, 225 N. Jackson Ave., San Jose.
5 p.m.: San Francisco police department sponsored NNO events at
The following locations: Central District, Salesian Playground, 680 Filbert
St.; Southern District, Victoria Manalo Draves Park, between Sixth and
Seventh streets and Folsom and Harrison Streets; Treasure Island, Mariner
Drive and Gateview Avenue; Bayview District, MLK/Bayview Playground, Third
Street and Armstrong Avenue; Mission District (5:30 p.m.), Mission Police
Station, 630 Valencia St.; Northern District (5:30 p.m.), Ella Hill Hutch
Community Center, 1050 McAllister St.
5:30 p.m.: Oakland City officials, including Mayor Libby Schaaf, Fire chief Teresa Reed and Deputy Police Chief John Lois will gather before fanning out through the city for NNO events.
6 p.m.: Kick-off event at San Bruno's Grundy Park, 567 El Camino Real.
6 p.m.: Resource Fair at Emmanuel Temple Church in Vallejo, 900 Sixth St.
6 p.m.: NNO open house by the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police Department and the Santa Clara County fire department, Los Gatos Fire Station, 306 University Ave., Los Gatos.
6 p.m.: Block parties at the Central Marin Police Authority Stations: 250 Doherty Drive, Larkspur, and 525 San Anselmo Ave. in San Anselmo.