BENNETTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – A Bennettsville police officer was caught on camera, and the video is now going viral on Facebook, but not for the reasons the internet has come to expect.
The video, posted by Lorenzo Adams on Tuesday, now has over 4 million views and 93,000 shares, as of Thursday morning.
Unlike other videos depicting police that have been posted online and publicized by the media lately, this one shows the officer tossing the pigskin around with a group of young kids. And, as you can see in the video, this officer has some moves!
The video description posted by Adams reads: "Just driving by and witnessed this...had to video Because of all the other videos out there, please SHARE so people can know what kind of Cops we have in this town!!!!!"
During a law enforcement appreciation event on Thursday, Bennettsville Police Chief Larry McNeil thanked his officers, and his community.
"You know me by my first name, and I know you. I know the types of problems you may have. I know your kids and I can call you and let you know what your kids are doing," said Chief McNeil.
He admits the relationship between police and the people they swear to serve is strained across the country.
"There is a fear out there right now, of officers and everything going on. The more we know the people we are around, the more it helps to absolve that fear," said Chief McNair.
It is a relationship the police department is changing, one mouse click at a time with this video.
"I didn't even see him pull up," started Officer CJ Millinax, explaining he didn't know he was being filmed as kids run after him in a friendly game of football. The cop has a history of football practice, playing in college.
"I'm telling you! Those kids, they deserve some scholarships!"
While they gave him a run for his money, this police chief says those moments are invaluable.
"How much money is wasted when something bad happens with lawyers and hospital bills? Which one is best?" asked Chief McNair.
"Hearing the feedback from this community and the nation, it's important. Because we changed the views, me and those 20 or so kids, changed the views of a lot of people," said Officer Mullinax.
Families living in the area said this isn't the first time Officer Mullinax showed kindness to area kids. When he first started patrolling the neighborhood, one mother thought she was getting pulled over for a ticket. Instead, the officer brought a stuffed animal up to her window for her child.