A child has her fingerprints made during Monday's event. (Aug. 6, 2012/FOX Carolina)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -
Thousands throughout the country will turn on their porch lights Tuesday night in a sign of unity as they take a stand against crime.
The campaign is known as National Night Out. It's when law enforcement and communities unite to fight crime and put criminals on notice.
And although National Night Out doesn't officially start until Tuesday, hundreds packed the Anderson Civic Center for a kick-off party Monday.
Robert Gulley attended and said he wanted to make sure his 4-year-old daughter McKenna learns who to trust.
"It's just important for them to be safe and know who to go to, especially when they're in trouble," Gulley said.
Even at 4 years old, McKenna got a quick forensics lesson from Todd Caron. He's a forensics investigator with the Anderson County Sheriff's Office.
"You might put your fingerprints on top of a bad guy's fingerprints and then we can't get them," Caron said.
Caron, along with other investigators, set up booths in an effort to educate the community about their jobs. Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper met and greeted the crowd too.
"We also want to let the criminal element know that there are eyes out there watching them," Skipper said.
Bomb squad investigators pulled out a robot for the crowd to see.
"We can actually send it in before we actually have to send a deputy in, so we're not putting someone in harm's way," said Tim Sumney, a deputy with the bomb squad unit.
Investigators with the Anderson Police Department showed volunteers why people shouldn't drink and drive. They used goggles that simulated the view of a drunk person. Lt. Tony Tilley, a spokesperson with the department, placed the goggles on a boy's face to demonstrate.
"Hopefully this will be something they will remember as they get older and start driving," Tilley said.
While some children rushed out a fire house filled with smoke to get a lesson on fire safety, others saw a display on how illegal drugs can affect the body.
Gulley said the event was an educational one for him and his little girl.
"You can usually trust the police," Gulley said.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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