Post celebrates second annual National Night Out
August 16, 2012
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- As families began to arrive Thursday at Hilton Field, sirens from the parade of law enforcement, emergency services vehicles and barking military working dogs greeted them for Fort Jackson's second annual "National Night Out."
Columbia City Police, Richland County Sheriff, Lexington County Sheriff and the South Carolina Highway Patrol agencies partnered with Fort Jackson's 17th Military Police Detachment and Directorate of Emergency Services to host the event designed for families to meet law enforcement officers and heighten crime awareness.
"We are here to send a message that we are all here as a community, organized and committed to deterring and fighting crime," said Maj. Brad Fisher, Fort Jackson provost marshal. "Nationally, this event has been going on for 29 years, and it's an opportunity to get together with other police agencies. The importance of nights like this is to bring a unified front against crime and bring awareness to crime."
The night started off with loud propellers of helicopters from Richland and Lexington County police departments flying high over the field capturing the crowd's attention. The partnering agencies lined Hilton Field roads with informational booths and gave out backpacks and safety and emergency materials to families.
Fisher said about 500 family members attended this year's National Night Out.
Garrison Commander Col. Michael Grease praised Fort Jackson MPs and partnering law enforcement agencies for their diligent work protecting the Fort Jackson community from crime. Grease encouraged families to take the time to get to know the police officers who help protect the community.
Families later enjoyed watching the 17th MP Detachment's K-9 unit. Soldiers demonstrated how they teach military working dogs to discover bombs in luggage, protect their handlers from criminals and spoke to the crowd about the importance of this career.
Sgt. Cyrus Vaughn, a K-9 handler with the 17th MP Detachment, said the event will have a great effect on officers' relationships with the community.
"This night out is an opportunity to build a rapport with the community, becoming a community asset so when someone sees me in the community they don't think, 'Oh, that's the police.' They say, 'Oh, that's Sgt. Vaughn and his dog, Seagal.' They know me and see a friendly face," Vaughn said.