Millions of people across the nation got together with their local police and emergency service personnel Tuesday for National Nightout.

The annual event, which began in 1984 and is celebrated on the first Tuesday in August, promotes stronger relationships between local communities and the agencies that serve them.

“It’s an opportunity for members of the public to come out and meet their police department, fire department, rescue, local support services and organizations and just have a good time,” says Essex Police Department Cpl. John Ruttenberg.

Kids, in particular, enjoy Nightout. Marcel Acquisto was excited to meet his role models from the Essex Fire Department.

“Since I was five years old, I have wanted to be a firefighter,” says Marcel Acquisto.

His dad enjoyed watching the connection.

“It’s fun to watch him enjoy himself, climb on the trucks, imagine what it’s going to be like in the future,” says Joseph Acquisto.

Those in emergency services are happy to see the interest.

“I think it’s great that kids are interested in public safety,” says Essex Rescue Deputy Director Maureen Hoague. “These events let us show them what we do and that’s fantastic for them.”