Cops & Goblins offering food, fun and more on Oct. 26

With the fifth annual Cops & Goblins Halloween celebration just over a week away, Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin is encouraging the community to join in the fun of masquerading and trick-or-treating.

“I would like to personally invite all members of the community to join the men and women of the Ocean View Police Department at the event on Oct. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m.at John West Park. This year marks the fifth year for Cops & Goblins, and the men and women of the OVPD, in conjunction with our partners in the community, are working hard to make this year’s event bigger and better than ever,” McLaughlin said this week.

One of the hallmarks of Cops & Goblins is the emphasis on community policing, an initiative the chief praised as being “effective in reducing crime and building trust in police.”

“Subsequently, our officers are expected to be proactive and creative — not only in addressing, but in preventing, crime. The success of community policing depends on the ability of individual officers to interact and build positive relationships with all members of the community.

“In 2015, the OVPD was looking to add a signature event to its repertoire of outreach initiatives. Specifically, we were looking to host an event that would be fun for the whole family and would generate positive encounters between the police and young people in the Ocean View area. On Oct. 31, 2015, the inaugural Cops & Goblins event took place. Hundreds of area children attended, and feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive,” McLaughlin told the Coastal Point.

Echoing his sentiments, Ocean View Town Manager Carol Houck said it is “wonderful to see the high level of support from the Ocean View community that allows this event to remain free and offer a safe and fun holiday option to our families.”

Guests can arrive in costume and enjoy free cheeseburgers, slices of pizza, beverages and candy.

“The Police Department will be handing out bookbags, water bottles, little police cars. All the officers will be there, and we’ll have firefighters, paramedics. Children can see the police cars. What I like about it is it’s 100 percent free,” Officer Rhys Bradshaw, public information officer for the Ocean View Police Department, said about the event, jointly sponsored by the Town and police department, who spend about $10,000 on it.

Businesses also donate, including Rita’s Italian Ice, Hocker’s Super Center, Papa John’s Pizza and Pepsi Bottling Ventures in Salisbury, Md., who supply foods and drinks. Businesses and organizations will have tables with information and gifts for children.

Other activities will include horseback riding, a petting zoo, carnival rides, a disc jockey playing music, pumpkin decorating and costume contests.

“It’s not just Ocean View police. We bring them in from everywhere, even the state police,” Ocean View Mayor Walter Curran said at a recent town council meeting.

“This is not only good public relations, but it’s the best police relations event I’ve ever seen, and we intend to keep this one going.”

An interactive booth at the event will gather public input about the comprehensive plan update town officials are now crafting. Several booths will be set up to assess opinions on future transit investments, community character and design of the town.

Children will have the opportunity to lay out what they perceive as perfect cities.

“We are going above and beyond to ensure just anybody humanly possible will have an opportunity to comment on this plan,” Curran said.

“This engagement is really important,” Houck said.

It will be the final opportunity to submit any comments or suggestions before the comprehensive draft plan is completed.

 

By Susan Canfora
Staff Reporter