Police officers past and present will spend time Halloween night providing fun and free candy to local kids.
Members of the Black Knights Police Association will host a Halloween party from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Wick Park Pavilion in Wick Park on the city’s North Side.
The party is for children ranging in age from infants through 12 years old and their parents.
Delphine Baldwin-Casey, event organizer, said she hopes to see as many children as possible come out for the celebration.
“We really don’t know how many kids we are going to get, but we are going to work with it no matter how many kids show up,” she said. “Over the years, Halloween has changed with a lot of harmful things people have done to children. This is a good, safe environment, and we know where the candy and treats come from.”
Baldwin-Casey said kids attending the event will still get the trick-or-treat experience.
“We are teaming up with the park and recreation department and doing a ‘Trail of Treats,’ where people, businesses or organizations can set up a table with their business and people can trick-or-treat at those various tables,” she said.
Nothing will be sold during the event, and all treats will be made available to the kids for free.
Baldwin-Casey said there will be a Halloween costume contest with four different age categories — birth-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12 — during the party with prizes given to the winners. Parents who wear costumes also will be judged and receive prizes.
“I like the idea of getting parents involved in the activity,” Baldwin-Casey said. “There are those people who ask why we are doing Halloween, and I just believe that even as an adult there are some things you never grow out of. ... It brings out the kid in all of us.”
She said the idea was actually born several years ago before she retired from the Youngstown Police Department. She said city officers would pass out candy from police cruisers.
Police Chief Rod Foley said, “We will have addi-tional patrols out to maintain safety. Those officers will have candy available to pass out to children.”
Baldwin-Casey said the Halloween party also is a means of outreach to young people who will have the opportunity to see members of law enforcement in a different light.
There also will be former members of the Citizens Police Academy and former members of the Youth Police Academy helping out at the event.
Anyone looking to make a donation of candy, hot dogs, pizza or small prizes can contact Baldwin-Casey at 234-855-0091 or 330-550-1927.