CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police held their annual "No Crime Day' on Saturday as students get ready to go back to school.
"This is how we want to start our school year off -- no crime. We want everyone to be in the right frame of mind," said Cmdr. Barrick Douglas.
The 3rd annual event was held at Palmer Park in the Pullman neighborhood. This is the last weekend before Chicago Public Schools starts its classes.
"It's fun. It's safe," said Marcus Cannon, who lives on the South Side. "I see a lot of police. It's a great thing for the kids."
There were games and giveaways for the kids and even pony rides.
Jonarionna Thompson, 8, rode a horse for the first time.
"It was good. It was scary," Jonarionna said.
But along with the fun and the food, there was another purpose.
"People of all ages having a good time together, that's the whole idea," said CPD Officer Timothy Crawford.
The event also seeks to give area residents an opportunity to get to know the police officers working in their neighborhoods. It's the result of a partnership between CPD's 5th district and local clergy.
Police officials recently released data showing a significant reduction in gun violence at the end of August compared to last year at this time.
"We get down with the community and we tell them their lives are important to us," said Apostle Denise Clark, of House of Rhema Praise and Worship Center.
The event also provided help for families in need, giving out a book bag and school supplies.
Silk And Classy Barber College gave away free haircuts for boys and stylists did free hair braiding for girls, which was a blessing for Patricia Hughes, a mother of six.
"This event right here is helping me get my daughters' hair braided and my boys' hair cut," she said.
But for soon-to-be fourth grader Jeremiah Moreland the day was simply an indication of all the good things to come the start of class.
"It's going to be amazing!" Jeremiah said.
CPD holds 'No Crime Day' for kids before school starts