CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – What better way for the Charleston Police Department to reach out to neighborhood kids than by providing fun?
“We just want to make sure everyone meets our officers and sees how great of a department we are,” said Lt. Shylah Murray with the Charleston Police Department.
“I saw it on the news and just said it’s a fun thing to bring kids out to come to the community things with friends and family and stuff, that’s very nice,” said Angelin Lawson, a Charleston resident.
Bounce castles, face painting, even a mobile music studio where kids could make their own Cds, the Breaking Down Barriers event brought dozens of kids to the park.
“We’re here to make sure everyone knows why police officers are out here and that we’re building positive relationships. The average age out here is probably about 2 to 10,” Murray said.
As kids usually only see the police during emergencies, many feel it’s important for kids to see police officers outside of negative situations.
One of the biggest draws of the event was a bike raffle and there was a special way to be entered to win.
“It’s a buddy card, and so they meet ten officers and they sign and we get to know their name and we talk to them and that’s for the raffle for the bikes,” said Murray.
As law enforcement here in South Carolina continues mourning the loss of one of their own in Florence, it sheds light on the importance of community relations. These officers say when things like this happen, it makes them want to get out in their communities even more.
“With what happened in Florence, prayers to those officers, and absolutely it helps with making sure that we get out here with the community of Charleston and everything like that,” Murray said.