Trick-or-treaters meet first responders
Dover has a new tradition to end October's for years to come with Dover Police Trick-or-Treat night at Legislative Mall.
The event held Friday evening is the second annual, and was brought back after a successful 2016 that saw more than 6,000 spectators.
Thousands of trick-or-treaters, some in ghoulish outfits, others wearing their favorite characters, strolled Legislative Mall collecting candy and memories.
This is a way for first responders to connect with the community in a way they normally can't.
"It's typically when we see people is in the most traumatic of times," said Master Corporal Mark Hoffman.
"This is fun because they look at us, and we're the good guys instead of trying to put the pieces back together," said Glenn Whitt, Assistant Chief of the Dover Fire Department.
"This is a really great way to connect with our community in a positive atmosphere where everyone's having a good time, and they can connect with our officers, connect with the firemen and the ambulance services here," said Hoffman.
The event isn't just a hit with kids, but the parents as well.
"It's great to see all the first responders around letting everyone know the community is safe, interacting with them, and it's good for him to interact with the other kids here," said Carlos Cortez, currently stationed at Dover Air Force Base with his family.
There were over 70 displays on site, including first responders like Dover Police, Delaware State Police, Dover Fire Department, and other EMS. Those displays included vehicles and equipment used on the job.
"The feedback comes tomorrow through our social media," said Hoffman. "People send us pictures of our kids having a good time. We see thousands of smiling faces we're happy with the product we're putting out."
But the event isn't just for the community to connect with their first responders. It's also a way to show off the businesses in Dover, further helping to stimulate the local economy.
"Private businesses, as well. See what kind of small businesses are out in the City of Dover, and it helps, obviously, to promote our economy and everything here in the city as well, said Hoffman.