NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The North Charleston Police Department (NCPD) will host a block party for National Night Out Tuesday to strengthen relationships with the community.

The event is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirit and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are fighting back, according to the City of North Charleston’s website.

“It’s basically a big community block party,” said Paiam Etminan, NCPD’s crime prevention officer. “This is one of the events that helps us bring the community and police department together.”

NCPD’s celebration will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Riverfront Park on August 2, and feature food, raffles, games and more.

The department will also be showcasing some of their specialized units, including SWAT team trucks, harbor patrol boats and K-9 unit demonstrations.

Etminan said NCPD will also be promoting safety programs at the event, including their ‘see something, say something’ initiative.

“When you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood, call us, and let us take care of it,” Etminan said.

This comes after a recent uptick in property crime — which Etminan said is typical after school lets out in the summer — as well as violent crime.

“We do unfortunately have some violent crimes happening in the city, and that’s one of our biggest projects right now — working to reduce violent crimes and increase the quality of life for our residents,” he said.

This is the 39th year police stations across the country have participated in National Night Out.

The City of North Charleston said over 1,000 people have attended the event in years past, and this year promises to be “bigger and better.”

“We cannot do our job without the community. We need them on our side. And we need them to work with us. Because we can’t be everywhere at once,” Etminan said. “We need them to be the eyes and ears for us.”

National Night Out will also be held in the following Lowcountry communities on August 2:

  • Georgetown
  • Goose Creek
  • Hanahan
  • Isle of Palms
  • North Charleston
  • Summerville