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KCSO participates in National Night Out
Night Out - Patrol Car
Two young “firefighters” check out the interior of a Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office patrol during the agency’s first-ever National Night Out event on Tuesday. The event -- whose goal is to bring together communities and law enforcement -- included the Camden Police Department, Kershaw County Emergency Medical Services and Lugoff Fire-Rescue. - photo by Martin L. Cahn/C-I

Tuesday evening, law enforcement agencies across the country -- including the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) -- participated in National Night Out, a national community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships.

According to the national campaign’s website, the event “enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.”

All 50 states participate, with all but Texas participating on the first Tuesday in August; Texas and other select areas of the country participate on the first Tuesday in October. The first National Night Out was held in 1984 involving 2.56 million neighbors across 400 communities in 23 states, according to the campaign’s website.

Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan said Tuesday night’s event, which took place in the agency’s back parking lot, marked the first time the KCSO has directly participated in National Night Out.

The evening included not only KCSO deputies and personnel, but representatives from the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Foundation, Camden Police Department, Kershaw County Emergency Medical Services and Lugoff Fire-Rescue.

Children and adults had the chance to see KCSO Chief Deputy Steve Knafelc fly the agency’s drone, meet two K9 officers, see various pieces of emergency vehicles and equipment, play games and enjoy pizza served up by deputies. Children also had a chance to get some temporary tattoos from Camden officers and enjoy bouncing and sliding on inflatable houses.

Boan said he hopes the two-hour event will expand in 2020, which he said would likely require a move to a venue larger than the KCSO parking lot.