EL PASO, Texas -

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office participated in the 24th annual National Night Out Tuesday evening.

The event encourages neighbors to hold block parties where they can meet each other and law enforcement officers. The goal is to encourage a relationship between residents and officers to help fight crime in neighborhoods.

"The neighborhood watch association concept is that neighbors get together frequently to interact, know who their neighbors are, who belongs in the neighborhood and who doesn't," Sheriff Richard Wiles told ABC-7. "(It's) so they can act as the eyes and ears of law enforcement and report suspicious activities."

The sheriff's office held a party in the parking lot of its headquarters at 3850 Justice Drive in far east El Paso County. ABC-7 was on hand as officers and volunteers set up fun activities for kids and information booths for everyone else. SWAT vehicles, marked units and even a robot were on display for interested residents to examine up close.

While the sheriff encouraged everyone to attend the party and have some free food, Wiles told ABC-7 he hopes residents organize these types of parties among themselves, and more than once a year.

"We encourage citizens in their own neighborhoods to get together with their fellow neighbors and come out and meet each other and have little block parties and things of that nature," Wiles said.

Wiles said if county residents are interested in starting up a neighborhood watch program in their area, they can call 538-2006.