MARION, SC (WMBF) - The Marion Police Department is doing its part to reach out to the community. On Monday, they hosted over 200 senior citizens for an early Thanksgiving luncheon, all of which was served by law enforcement.
This was the first time the police department has ever hosted an event only for senior citizens. The Chief of Police, Dewayne Tennie said it's just the beginning of the department trying to help bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community.
"What's going on around the nation is not a pretty picture in law enforcement, but we here in the city of Marion are being proactive so that doesn't happen," Tennie said.
He says this is the perfect chance for seniors to see them in a different light and get to know the officers who protect them.
"Senior citizens don't get the appreciation they need. A lot of times they are forgotten during the holiday season, and a lot of them live by themselves. So this is a time for them to come out, socialize and have a good meal served by the Marion Police Department and the Chief of Police," Tennie said.
Velma Jennings attended the luncheon and said, "It means so much to us that we don't have to cook today and we are coming together as one, meeting a lot of our family and friends. It's a special treat for the police department to treat us and we are so happy."
Harbett Turner lives in Marion and he's a WWII Veteran. He is thankful for the hospitality shown especially to the seniors in Marion. "So it does me well to see the mayor, the city workers, the policeman, and all the patrons and citizens of Marion showing appreciation," Turner said.
Marion Police Department plans to host this luncheon every year now and want to make sure the entire community knows they are here to help. Part of being proactive also includes reaching out to the younger community. Chief Tennie said they plan to get involved more with local high schools and food banks during the holidays.