YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office held its first “Operation Safe Halloween” event outside of the Covelli Centre Monday night.
Hundreds of trick-or-treaters lined up to meet the deputies — and they got a few surprises along the way.
But the event offered the community more than just candy.
“We wanted to be able to interact with the community and especially interact with kids,” Sheriff Jerry Greene said. “Being law enforcement, not to be afraid of us, we’re here to help. It’s just a good way to interact with the community and give back a little bit.”
“It’s nice,” said Jonnelle Ballard of Youngstown. “It’s safe. It’s really our first time coming trick-or-treating and this is a friendly environment. It shows that the officers are good in the neighborhood.”
Not even the cold rain could put a damper on the festivities, as the kids went around to several cruisers and got their treats.
“I was so disappointed at first when I saw what the weather was going to be,” Greene said. “But I’ve been pleasantly surprised. There’s been hundreds and hundreds of people come through, so it’s been awesome.”
“I think it’s awesome,” said Francine DeFrank of Youngstown. “It’s safe and you get to see a lot of people in their costumes. I thought it would be a good thing for us to do this year.”
The treat bags even offered tips and tricks for kids and parents on how to make Halloween night a safe one.
“Make sure you go with a parent,” Greene said. “Go to houses that you’re comfortable with and that you know. Obviously watch for traffic, be careful what type of candy you have, make sure it’s still professionally sealed.”
Sheriff Greene says Monday’s event was such a hit that he plans on having it again next year.