Dana Point Police Services celebrates Halloween early with community outreach
Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh, Spider Man and many other costume favorites walked through the Dana Point City Hall parking lot Oct. 24 trick-or-treating while also getting to know their local neighborhood deputies.
Dana Point Police Services held its first Trunk Or Treat event, from 5 to 7 p.m., where families came out for some treats and to learn about the various Orange County Sheriff’s Department resources that serve the Dana Point community. Among them were OCSD bloodhounds, bomb squad and patrol K9s, as well as a few members of the mounted unit.
“We wanted to do something to showcase all of our department resources to the community – and who doesn’t love Halloween?” said Crime Prevention Specialist Jill Jackson, who coordinated the event.
Other OCSD members who came out were from the Hazardous Materials Unit, Harbor Patrol – with a boat available for viewing – and motor officers. Orange County Fire Authority firefighters also were out mingling with the community.
“I love Halloween,” said Jackson, who arrived dressed as a Chia Pet. “What better a time of year to showcase our department resources than now?”
Kids and their parents made their way from one section of the parking lot to the next, meeting the working dogs and horses, checking out the Harbor Patrol boat, talking to officers and stopping over for some free barbecue provided by VFW Post 9934.
Many of them also got to meet OCSD Lt. Margie Sheehan, chief of Police Services for Dana Point – but on this night, Elsa, from the popular animated film, “Frozen.” Dressed in a sparkly, light blue gown, much resembling the character’s ensemble, she roamed around meeting kids and their parents, and posing for photos.
“We decided that we wanted to have an event that we could actually get to know our residents on a more personal level,” she said.
Sheehan, who has been serving the area as chief of police services for the past six months, said it’s good to have events like these where members of law enforcement and the community can meet under happy circumstances. Along those lines, the OCSD recently hosted a Coffee with a Cop event, and partnered to help with a fundraiser for the Special Olympics.
With their treat bags in tow, the kids grabbed goodies and munched on hotdogs while they waited for the costume contest.
Amber Nicholas, of Dana Point, was there with her 5- and 8-year-olds. She said she was happy that kids and parents got to come out and meet the local deputies in a fun atmosphere, as well as see all the resources at their disposal.
“It’s fantastic to see that they’re prepared if there were to be an emergency,” Nicholas said.
Toward the end of the event, all the children lined up for the costume contest.
A young girl dressed as a SWAT officer and a young boy dressed as a red dragon.