The annual Trunk or Treat event, put on by the Athens Clarke County Police Department and the Leisure Services of Athens, was this Wednesday, October 28th. The parking lot was filled with laughing kids in fun costumes, opened car trunks full of Halloween decor, and volunteers handing out every type of candy you can imagine.
According to Marci Summer, one of the event coordinators, the event always brings out a great crowd. She says each year they expect about two to three hundred people from the community to come pay a visit. In the past people have primarily come for the costumes and candy, but now some locals are saying that they look forward to a little more. Judy LaVergne, a resident of Athens, says she enjoys letting her grandson see officers in a more relaxed setting.
” We wanted to celebrate the fun-ness of the holiday in a not so scary way while making the police station seem more like a safe, community helper.”
Allowing for the community to see officers in a fun and exciting environment helps the relationship grow says Senior Officer Jerry Johnson. He says not only is the event meant to provide a safe place for parents and kids to trick or treat, but it is also a way for them to get a little closer to law enforcement.
“It allows for people to see us in another light other than traditional policing. Letting them know we are people, we are parents, we get out and shake hands and kiss babies so to speak. It’s just another way of meeting officers.”
The Athens Clarke County police department will try to host more events that allow for the community to spend time with officers in unique ways. This December the department will host a new event called Shop with a Cop. For more information visit the Athens-Clarke County Police Department’s Facebook page.