Bennettsville police give away 1,000 bookbags during National Night Out

The Bennettsville Police Department gave away 1,000 bookbags, school supplies, and hotdogs Tuesday to students during its annual National Night Out Against Crime.

The event had to be held at Carroll Field football stadium because of the huge turnout.

"It's school time. People need anything they can get to help. This is just our way to let them know how interested we are in education and in their kids' futures," said Bennettsville Police Chief Larry McNeil.

The officers talked with the youngsters and their parents about crime and how they can work together to fight crime in the city.

Police wanted the families to see them in a different light.

"Get families to understand that this is a way they can, you know, build confidence in police. That we're out here to try to do whatever they need. And not to feel that we're the enemy. We're actually here to help," said Lt. Larry Turner.

Dozens of businesses and churches donated money, food and school supplies for the event.

Police plan to host an even bigger event next year.