• National Night Out gave law enforcement officers the opportunity to demonstrate high-risk traffic stops, police vehicles and K-9 operations

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    National Night Out gave law enforcement officers the opportunity to demonstrate high-risk traffic stops, police vehicles and K-9 operations

  • A Richland County Sheriff's Department helicopter lifts off at Hilton Field Aug. 9, as part of Fort Jackson's National Night Out. The helicopter is used for aerial surveillance. The event increased awareness of crime prevention and gave families the opportunity to meet with local and state law enforcement officers.

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    A Richland County Sheriff's Department helicopter lifts off at Hilton Field Aug. 9, as part of Fort Jackson's National Night Out. The helicopter is used for aerial surveillance. The event increased awareness of crime prevention and gave families the...

  • Sgt. Cyrus Vaughn, 17th Military Police Detachment, and his K-9 companion, Seagal, demonstrate various tactics military working dogs perform in order to find bombs and harmful chemicals in luggage. Seagal receives a chew toy for completing the task.

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    Sgt. Cyrus Vaughn, 17th Military Police Detachment, and his K-9 companion, Seagal, demonstrate various tactics military working dogs perform in order to find bombs and harmful chemicals in luggage. Seagal receives a chew toy for completing the task.

  • National Night Out gave law enforcement officers the opportunity to demonstrate high-risk traffic stops, police vehicles and K-9 operations

    cop4

    National Night Out gave law enforcement officers the opportunity to demonstrate high-risk traffic stops, police vehicles and K-9 operations

  • National Night Out gave law enforcement officers the opportunity to demonstrate high-risk traffic stops, police vehicles and K-9 operations

    cop5

    National Night Out gave law enforcement officers the opportunity to demonstrate high-risk traffic stops, police vehicles and K-9 operations

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.

Page last updated Thu August 16th, 2012 at 15:08