The 25th Police District in North Philadelphia hosted a Trunk & Treat Halloween party at Hunting Park on October 25, 2023. The event brought together people from various backgrounds and offered activities, candy, and resources from organizations like Esperanza, Concilio, State Representative Danilo Burgos’s staff, and Councilwoman Quetcy Lozada.
Leroy Fisher, Director of Community Services Outreach at the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Department, told Impacto, «Our 25th police district hosted this event to foster a great relationship with the community and provide a safe environment for kids to have fun, receive candy, and create lasting memories.»
Javier Rodriguez-Irizarry, a former 25th police district captain and current inspector in the Philadelphia Police Department’s training bureau, chatted with children, distributed candy, and connected with families while discussing the event’s origins. He explained, «This event began four years ago in the 19th police district. I envisioned bringing it to our community, and we’ve successfully done so. Today, we’re thrilled to see its growth, with more organizations participating in our trunk & treat Halloween party.»
A highlight of the event was the trunk-or-treating activity, where police officers creatively decorated a patrol car for kids to collect candy safely. This unique twist on trick-or-treating brought joy to children, fostering trust and breaking barriers with officers. Nearly 50 families expressed happiness and gratitude for the event, vowing to return with their entire family every year. Captain Steven Wheeler of the 25th police district and Captain Christopher Bullick of the 24th Police District agreed that connecting with the community is vital; they appreciated providing a safe environment for the community where they can get some tricks, some hayrides, and the officers can give some candy, and the two districts can collaborate to reach a common goal.
Esperanza joined the event. Ivana Gonzalez, Community outreach coordinator, ensured that the community benefited not only from treats but also from valuable resources. They distributed candy and shared information about the various programs and services they offer to residents in the area.
The Trunk & Treat Halloween party also featured a variety of games and activities suitable for all ages. Face painting, costume contests, and pumpkin decorating stations provided opportunities for creativity and fun. This festive atmosphere allowed families to connect with one another, reinforcing the sense of unity in North Philadelphia.
Local businesses and community members played an active role in the event’s success by volunteering their time and resources. It’s proof of the strength of a community when everyone comes together for a common cause.
By providing a safe and enjoyable environment, the 25th Police District’s Halloween party shows that the police are not just enforcers of the law but also friends and allies in the community. This positive interaction between the police and the residents helps break down stereotypes and build a stronger, safer neighborhood.
Hosting this event is a way to connect on a different level with the community they serve.
Lili Daliessio is the Community Information Manager at Esperanza Housing and Economic Development.