Middletown Police bring trick-or-treat to kids with disabilities

Middletown police officers visited about 30 children with disabilities and those unable to leave their home or hospital last year during Candy with a Cop. This year’s event is set for Oct. 30.
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Middletown police officers visited about 30 children with disabilities and those unable to leave their home or hospital last year during Candy with a Cop. This year’s event is set for Oct. 30.

The Middletown Division of Police believes every child — regardless of their circumstances — should be able to enjoy trick-or-treat.

So police officers, dispatchers, corrections officers and the police department’s administrative staff as well as AK Steel volunteers are taking Halloween candy to children with disabilities or those unable to leave their home or hospital, said Major David Birk. The fourth annual Candy with a Cop will run from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 30, he said.

Last year, the police department visited about 30 children with disabilities, including several at Abilities First, Birk said. He said Candy with a Cop gives members of the police department an opportunity to interact with children and for children to meet an officer “in a different light.”

So often, Birk said, children only see officers when there is tragedy in their lives. The officers will spend several minutes with each child, pose for pictures, give them candy, then head to the next house, he said.

Birk said the community informed the police department through its Facebook page about children with disabilities. Birk said that list of children will be divided among the volunteers.

Some of the children, because of their medical needs, have restricted diets and are unable to eat traditional Halloween candy. AK Steel volunteers will purchase the candy and toys and UDF on Verity Parkway will provide ice cream for every child.

“It’s good for everybody,” Birk said. “It’s a great event.”

This is just one way the police department connects with the community. The department will host Coffee with a Cop at 6 p.m. today, Oct. 25, at Triple Moon Coffee Co., 1100 Central Ave. Residents are encouraged to attend if they have questions about the police department.

Birk said representatives from every department will be on hand.

Every Christmas, police officers also purchase gifts for children in need through their Shop with a Cop program at Meijer.


HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS

The Middletown Division of Police offers these safety tips for trick-or-treaters, parents and motorists:

FOR PARENTS

Escort your younger children while trick-or-treating.

Set a specific time for your child to be out.

Always know who is trick-or-treating with your child.

Instruct children to never enter any home.

Inspect all treats before allowing children to eat them.

Only give out commercially wrapped candy.

Consider placing reflective or glow tape on costumes.

FOR TRICK-OR-TREATERS

Do not trick-or-treat alone.

Do not take short cuts.

Stay on the sidewalks when possible.

Never approach someone in a car who is offering candy.

Look both ways when crossing streets.

Trick-or-treat at houses that have porch lights on or are well lit.

Wait until you get home before eating candy.

FOR MOTORISTS

Drive slowly and use extra caution.

Look for children in the street and crossing the road.

Be extra careful entering and exiting driveways.

Avoid extra distractions such as cell phones and loud music.

Use headlights at all times.

Use a designated driver if you have anything to drink.

SOURCE: Middletown Division of Police

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