A Fort Jackson military policeman releases his Military Working Dog during a demonstratoin during the post's National Night Out event on Hilton Field, Oct. 4.
1 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Fort Jackson military policeman releases his Military Working Dog during a demonstratoin during the post's National Night Out event on Hilton Field, Oct. 4. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL
Caleb Maxwell, a firefighter with the Fort Jackson Fire Department climbs a ladder to loosen the U.S. flag that was flying above Hilton Field and the National Night Out event Oct. 4. The Fort Jackson Fire Department joined law enforcement agencies from across the Midlands for the event.
2 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Caleb Maxwell, a firefighter with the Fort Jackson Fire Department climbs a ladder to loosen the U.S. flag that was flying above Hilton Field and the National Night Out event Oct. 4. The Fort Jackson Fire Department joined law enforcement agencies from across the Midlands for the event. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL
Law enforcement agencies from across the South Carolina Midlands came together at Fort Jackson's HIlton Field to meet the public during the post's National Night Out celebration. The U.S. Marshall's service, Richland County Sheriff's Department and the Army's Criminal Investigation Division werre among the many agencies represented at the event.
3 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Law enforcement agencies from across the South Carolina Midlands came together at Fort Jackson's HIlton Field to meet the public during the post's National Night Out celebration. The U.S. Marshall's service, Richland County Sheriff's Department and the Army's Criminal Investigation Division werre among the many agencies represented at the event. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL
McGruff the Crime Dog gives two thumbs up during the Fort Jackson National Night Out Oct. 4 at Hilton Field.
4 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – McGruff the Crime Dog gives two thumbs up during the Fort Jackson National Night Out Oct. 4 at Hilton Field. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL
A Richland County Sheriff's Department helicopter comes in for a landing at Hilton Field during the Fort Jackson National Night Out Oct. 4. National Night Out is an annual event aimed at building relationships between law enforcement and the public through face-to-face interactions.
5 / 5 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Richland County Sheriff's Department helicopter comes in for a landing at Hilton Field during the Fort Jackson National Night Out Oct. 4. National Night Out is an annual event aimed at building relationships between law enforcement and the public through face-to-face interactions. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Policing is relationship based,” said John Hughes, Fort Jackson’s chief of police. “So having events like this where we can interact directly with the community helps build those relationships and ultimately makes it a place that everybody wants to be.”

Hughes spoke as a massive American flag fluttered in the cool evening breeze as law enforcement personnel from across the Midlands set up on Hilton Field for the 2022 National Night Out. National Night out is a national campaign aimed at bringing law enforcement personnel in face-to-face contact with the community.

One of the Fort Jackson Police Department’s major pushes is community policing.

“I want police officers outside of their cars,” Hughes said. It is the open windows theory, where “I want people to interact and put a face to the badge. So, I highly encourage every one of my offices to get out of the car, play catch with the kids and have positive interactions.”

Some of those interactions during the National Night Out was a parade of first responder vehicles through the housing areas, a Richland County Sheriff’s Department helicopter landing and a Military Working Dog demonstration by the 17th Military Police Detachment.

“While we might seem like we are isolated because there’s a fence around the installation, the reality is that we are partnered with everybody who is here tonight,” Hughes said about the participation of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies who were represented at the event. “Each and every partner who participates in this has a direct impact on everybody’s lives.”

Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly, Fort Jackson and Army Training Center commanding general, poses in a sign showing him as a furture special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Oct. 4 during the National Night Out event. The event brought together federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to meet with community members to enhance their relationship with the community. The FBI was one of many agency represented at the event.
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly, Fort Jackson and Army Training Center commanding general, poses in a sign showing him as a furture special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Oct. 4 during the National Night Out event. The event brought together federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to meet with community members to enhance their relationship with the community. The FBI was one of many agency represented at the event. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL
Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly, Fort Jackson and Army Training Center commanding general, thanks the community and law enforcement agencies for coming to the National Night Out event on Hilton Field, Oct. 4.
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly, Fort Jackson and Army Training Center commanding general, thanks the community and law enforcement agencies for coming to the National Night Out event on Hilton Field, Oct. 4. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL
A gigantic U.S. flag billows in the wind after a Fort Jackson firefighter released it from a Fort Jackson Fire Department ladder truck Oct. 4 at Hilton Field. The flag was flown over the  post's National Night Out event.
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A gigantic U.S. flag billows in the wind after a Fort Jackson firefighter released it from a Fort Jackson Fire Department ladder truck Oct. 4 at Hilton Field. The flag was flown over the post's National Night Out event. (Photo Credit: Robert Timmons) VIEW ORIGINAL

“When we come together on nights like this, our ability to say, ‘thank you;’ our ability to think about how together we can do some collateral good here on Fort Jackson, but quite frankly, throughout the community, greater Columbia and throughout South Carolina,” said Brig. Gen. Jason Kelly, Fort Jackson commander.

The post’s partnership with Richland County and Columbia are the “obvious” examples of how beneficial the partnerships can be. Fort Jackson law enforcement officials work closely with the municipalities during emergencies.

Some of the other agencies represented were the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, South Carolina Highway Patrol, U.S. Marshall’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Even the Fort Jackson Fire Department was involved.

Will Sexton, a fire inspector with the Fort Jackson Fire Department who participated in the parade, said its necessary for first responders to be seen out in the community.

“Events like the National Night Out allow communities to gain familiarity, comfort and confidence in their first responders,” he said. “If the only time the public sees us is during an emergency, medical or police situation then we as first responders aren’t doing enough.”