Cookout unites community members and law enforcement in Spartanburg

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SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – People in Spartanburg came together Sunday evening for the first annual Let’s Unite Community Cookout.

The idea started with a Facebook Post. Jalitha Moore, the organizer, saw a another city do something similar.

She reached out to Spartanburg city officials, the police department, and sheriff’s office, and in about a month, they had planned the event.

The event ran from 4pm to 7pm at Barnet Park and was completely free for the community.

“We have free hot dogs, free drinks, free snow cones, free ice cream,” Moore said. “We have great giveaways. We’re giving away a bike, a $100 gift card.”

However, the event was about much more.

“It was different events throughout the country, that said why don’t we all come together when we don’t have crisis, and that way if we do have a situation down the road, we will know each other as individuals,” Capt. Timothy Metz of the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said.

The event brought together law enforcement and community members.

“We want to be proactive in our approach and have those relationships already built,” Moore said.

It also helped raise understanding for everyone involved.

“When our shift is over, we’re human beings, just like they are; we’re members of the community,” Metz said.

People who came out say they support the goal.

“We need to all get together, be peaceful, wherever we are, whatever we’re doing,” Jacqueline Kerns, who lives in Spartanburg, said.

Organizers said they don’t know if a cookout will solve the problems but agree it’s a good first step.

“We hope so, and we want to continue in this momentum,” Metz said.

Organizers hope the event becomes annual.

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