Halloween season is known to bring out the mischief in a community, which naturally puts police on edge. But in the city, while police have been keeping a close eye out for trouble this week, they’re also doubling up on making Halloween fun for the community.
Last Saturday, officers joined city firefighters and Maryland National Guard members at Mondawmin Mall in West Baltimore. There, officers showed up in costume outside of Target, handed out candy, had videogames for kids to play and brought other fun favors. “Trunk or Treat” was a success, said Baltimore Police spokesman Donny Moses.
“It was an opportunity to show that we are in fact human, and we are a part of the community for more than just the law enforcement side of it,” he said. “Normally when you see us” – the trio of the police department, fire department and National Guard – “working together, it’s during a crisis situation, but we are together, we are a team.”
The community outreach didn’t end there. This Monday, on actual Halloween, police will be opening up their headquarters downtown to trick-or-treaters. On each floor, offices will be decked out in Halloween theme for their young visitors – a sign that the department isn’t just all business.
It’s “just an another effort to open our arms and doors as well,” Moses said.
Some of the building is already looking pretty spooky.
— Osborne Robinson III (@COPmoerob) October 27, 2016
Goofs aside, police have issued a reminder that families should plan out their routes ahead of time as they wander the city’s neighborhood in search of candy.
Police in the city have been well-criticized for not taking a serious approach to community policing. The findings from the DOJ investigation this past summer were nothing new for many who already had a sour view of the department. But these efforts to connect with the community can’t hurt. With proper policing elsewhere, the department can aim to mend its relationships with neighborhoods and gain public trust.
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