Charleston police unite with community for Police Community Unity Day
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Today a 16-year tradition continued as community members and police came together for Police Community Unity Day at Brittlebank Park near downtown Charleston.
There were hundreds of people coming in and out of the event all day. Police officers, families, churches,and community groups all came together to create relationships with one another to help build a better community.
"I just like to see the cops out here being one on one with the community," says Boy Scout, Tyler Gethers.
Gethers came to Police Community Unity Day to volunteer with his group of Boy Scouts from church. He says he enjoyed the opportunity to get to know officers.
"It's good to see them in a different setting than on the news or anything else," says Gethers.
Representative Gilliard started Unity Day and he says it's all about working together.
"Low and behold, here we are 16 years later and it's to enhance the relationship with our private citizens and our law enforcement," says South Carolina Representative, Wendell Gilliard.
Gilliard encourages people in the community to report crimes and not remain silent.
"One bad officer shouldn't reflect the whole, just like one person out of the community cannot reflect that whole community you see, at the end of the day we're all going to need each other," says Gilliard.
The National Action Network awarded their highest honor, The Triumph Award, to Gilliard along with Charleston Mayor Joe Riley and Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen for their support during the Emanuel AME Church shooting.
"The events that occurred on that particular night are much much bigger than one person," says Chief Mullen. "I accept this on behalf of all of the Charleston Police Department, the Charleston Fire Department, all of our partners around the region as well as our state and federal partners who helped with that."
Project Unity USA put together a memorial wall in remembrance of those people who lost their lives to violent crimes.
"So you can actually see what we've gone through in Charleston and how love can actually conquer all this hate we've got going on," says Project Unity USA Director, Butch Kennedy.
Today was also day for enjoying time together, with games for the kids, jump castles and water slides. There were musical performances, dancers, food and opportunities for the community to give back to one another.
"Basically what the Boy Scouts have been doing is helping out everybody," says Gethers.
"It's a beautiful day for our city," says Kennedy. "The fact that the community comes out and law enforcement is present, it changes a whole lot of stereotypes, everybody believes differently. They're not our enemy, we're together in this fight, that's what it's all about."