NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - Officers with the North Charleston Police Department will roll into a neighborhood Thursday evening, but instead of making arrests, they'll work to create a stronger bond with people in the Forrest Hills community.
North Charleston's "Community Roll Call" features food, raffles and fun for families in the neighborhood.
"It gives the children the opportunity to meet the officers that serve us in our community so that they will be able to go to them if they have any problems," president of the neighborhood association, Gerinda Doctor said.
Police say these gatherings are important, as they can change the perception that officers are more interested in putting them in jail than helping them
"The best part is letting the community members see us in a different light, most of the time it's you're pulling me over giving me a citation or a warning but this is a good time to learn who we are," Sgt. Michael Aiken said.
Officers enjoy the opportunity to get to know the people they serve too.
"It's nice that they're trying to get along with everybody in this neighborhood," says resident Dawn Hensley.
"When they come out and show the support for us and want to get to know us, that's our time right there to say hey, this is who we are this is what we're about," Sgt. Aiken said.
This program is part of police and community anti-crime initiatives in South Carolina. North Charleston was awarded $275,000 in funding for improving community relations.
Funding also went to body cameras, police recruitment and a slough of other department strengthening programs.
The "roll call" runs through the fall and officers will have a new stops every month.
"It's great for the police to come out and meet the young kids and show them that they mean well and it's okay to have interaction, it just puts a warm place in the kid's heart," fiance chair of the neighborhood association, Trudy Coffey said.
"I've enjoyed myself I think we need to do this every year," vice president of the neighborhood association, Harry Jordan said.
North Charleston Police Department Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/North-Charleston-Police-Department-215970208432936/?fref=ts