CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Police departments all over the Lowcountry participated in National Night Out on Tuesday.

The nationwide event is held on the first Tuesday of every August and aims to give law enforcement agencies the opportunity to connect with the communities they serve.

The Charleston Police Department teamed up with local nonprofits, including Serve & Connect and the Eastside Community Development Corporation, to host an event on the Eastside of the city. Residents were able to enjoy food, games, music, and a bike giveaway!

“I think with a lot of people in the community, there’s a lot of distrust in the police department and this neighborhood isn’t any different than any other neighborhood in my opinion,” said Lt. Corey Taylor, the Commander of Public Information for CPD. “We’re never going to get to a place where I think everything is perfect but we’re going to keep trying and we’re going to keep coming out and interacting with people.”

A similar sentiment was shared by North Charleston Police, who hosted their event at Riverfront Park for the first time. There were plenty of rides, games, and even a food giveaway from the Community Resource Center.

“It’s so important for us to build that trust with the community. We cannot do this job by ourselves. We need the community to be the eyes and ears for us and one of our initiatives is ‘see something, say something,’” said Paiam Etminan, a Crime Prevention Officer for NCPD. “So, it’s important that the community is comfortable speaking to officers and calling us when they need us.”

Mount Pleasant residents got to meet their local officers at Memorial Waterfront Park. The event included live music, bounce houses, and food.

“The idea is people come out and they get to know their officers, they get to know their community, and that way we’re all working together to solve problems and prevent crime moving forward,” said Don Calabrese, the Public Information Officer for the Mount Pleasant Police Department.

It didn’t matter which department it was; they all had the common goal of bridging the gap with their community and building meaningful relationships.