Charlottesville Night Out with CPD

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Charlottesville Police Department held its third annual Charlottesville Night Out on Tuesday night at the IX Art Park.

Four-year-old Mckenzie Johnson spent the evening showing off her dance moves to Police Chief Rashall Brackney.

"She's having fun, of course,” said Bruce Johnson, her father. “She got to dance with the police officer and they put on her Beyoncé, so she got to dance."

Bruce said just being able to dance with the officers leaves a big impression on Mckenzie.

"I think it'll have a lasting effect,” he said. “She has an officer who even walking around she's like, 'that's the officer I danced with!' So getting to know them in a positive way, that's probably the best thing she can get out of it."

Bruce enjoyed the night with his wife, kids, and his church, joining the dozens of families and officers also having a good time. Corporal Eric Thomas said that's what the night is for.

"Just getting everybody to relax and talk to people,” he said. “Have a nice bite to eat and drink. Just have a fun time."

Thomas said the night is also meant to show that police can have fun too.

"Although we wear a uniform and wear a badge, to some people it may be intimidating but we are people as well,” said Thomas.

Bruce said Mckenzie can look forward to dancing with the officers again in the future.

"I can't wait to come back next year," he said.

The event was completely free thanks to donations made by Wells Fargo, the Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band, and the IX Art Park where it was located.

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