CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - "We need each other."
That's the message event founder and State Representative Wendell Gilliard is working to get across, now in his 15th year organizing a citywide day of unity between law enforcement and the Charleston community.
The event, held at Brittlebank Park, drew in hundreds, offering free food, and free fun.
"Surely we have good law officers and we have good citizens," Gilliard said. "We should not ever forget that."
The event comes amid a year of controversy, following a SLED investigation of the Charleston Police Department after an officer-involved shooting last month.
"There's been controversy going on, but our approach is the same as it always is," said Sgt. Trevor Shelor of the Charleston Police Department.
"We work for you, we work with you, and we're here for you," he said.
Sgt. Shelor, also the city's crime prevention officer, spent most of the afternoon, gathering signatures from Charleston youth in a pledge to stay away from guns.
The annual event was also a platform for one of the largest distributions for Project Cool Breeze. Over 100 of Charleston's senior community walked away with a brand new air conditioning unit.
"Until we work together, only then will we see a difference," Gilliard said.