Philadelphia police hope to give kids safe Halloween with 'trunk-or-treat'

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The setup is a bit terrifying, but the reason two Philadelphia police partners have decided to put 'IT,' a horror film clown, in the back of their trunk couldn't be sweeter. They're spending their own money to deck out one of their personal cars for the 25th District trunk-or-treat.

"We're naive when we're younger," said Officer Yesenia Rivera. "We're not thinking about the dangers that go on, but as an adult and as a police officer, I realize all the things that go on, especially recently with all the shootings with the children."

Less than two weeks ago in this district, a toddler was killed and a baby was shot. These real-life horrors could prevent parents from letting kids go door-to-door on Halloween. As an alternative, the district's captain is hosting a police-sponsored trunk-or-treat.

"We respond back by showing the community, yes, you can come out and you can enjoy yourself and your kids can enjoy themselves safely with us here," said Captain Javier Rodriguez.

The event has about 600 people currently confirmed as attending on social media.

"For me, that just says there's a need," said Rivera. "I'm glad that we're here to supply that need."

Officers Rivera and Toribil know all too well what it's like to not feel safe in their own neighborhood. Toribil never went trick-or-treating as a kid growing up in Brooklyn.

"You know, they rather us stay indoors than go out and knock on random people's doors," Toribil said.

Rivera grew up next to the district she now serves.

"My mom would make us stay in a block or two radius. She would come with us. She was always scared of something happening," said Rivera.

Now, the two officers are hoping the only thing kids who come to Hunting Park on Halloween will be afraid of is their car! The event is free to the public and will take place Wednesday, October 30 from 6-9 p.m.
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