The Ocean View Police Department will host its Cops & Goblins event for the second year this October. The family-friendly Halloween event is designed as a way for young families to enjoy the holiday in a safe environment.
“Last year, the Chief [Ken McLaughlin] wanted to get a community event for the kids together to have a safe place to trick-or-treat. He’s always had this thought in his head, ‘Cops and Goblins,’ and last year decided to do it,” explained Cpl. Rhys Bradshaw. “Last year was a big success. As a first time, it turned out great, so we’ve decided to do it again for a second year.”
This year, the event will be held on Sunday, Oct. 30, from 1 to 4 p.m. in John West Park. Kids are being encouraged to come dressed in costume — be it a cop, a goblin, a witch or even a platypus. Awards for Best Cop Costume, Best Goblin Costume and Best Overall Costume will be given out.
Attendees will be able to purchase food from Charlie K’s and Taco Taco on-site that day. A photo booth will be set up, to give kids the chance to have their picture taken with an OVPD officer.
“We want to have good community relations with everybody. We want the kids to see us. We want them to not be scared with us. We want them to run to us with a problem, not away from us. We want them to see our faces and get to know us,” explained Bradshaw. “A lot of our officers will come and bring their families, too. We want them to look at us as their friends and not be afraid of us.”
New this year is a petting zoo, being provided by Parsons Produce in Dagsboro.
“They’re going to provide the goats and bunny rabbits for the kids to meet. They’re also supplying our hay bales, cornstalks and little pumpkins for the kids,” said Bradshaw.
Children will also have the opportunity to enjoy a pony ride or play on inflatables — a slide and an obstacle course.
“Last year, we had about 300 to 400 people attend, so we’re expecting that, if not more.”
Currently, the department is seeking community organizations to participate, and businesses are being invited to attend as vendors. There is no fee to be a vendor, and tables and chairs will be provided if needed.
“We have some from last year, but anyone else who’s interested in having a booth for themselves or their business to hand out candy,” Bradshaw said. “The more the better.”
Last year’s participants included Lord Baltimore Elementary School, the Get Well Gabby Foundation, Taylor Bank, Lord Baltimore Lions Club, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Artisans Bank, Millville United Methodist Church and the Bear Trap HOA.
“Hopefully, we’ll get more this year,” he said.
Bradshaw said the department hopes the event will continue to provide a safe and fun environment for families to have a fun Halloween.
“Come on out and have a good time,” he added.
For more information about Cops & Goblins, or how to become a vendor, contact the Ocean View Police Department at (302) 539-1111.