Hal­loween tradition

North Penn Life - - Front Page - By Bradley Sch­legel bschlegel@jour­nal­reg­is­ter. com

Ac­cent

As the po­lice car — with the emer­gency lights ac­ti­vated — stopped next to the curb at the in­ter­sec­tion of Jene Court and Gen­eral Han­cock Boule­vard in Mont­gomery Town­ship, a small group of cos­tumed chil­dren froze in po­si­tion.

“Happy Hal­loween,” said -LP 0DWODFN, Dn RI­fiFHU wLWK the Mont­gomery Town­ship Po­lice Depart­ment. “Be safe. Stay warm.”

7KH RI­fiFHU SODFHG D wKLWH bag, bound into the shape of a rolled-up news­pa­per with a rub­ber band, into each child’s bag.

“The kids stayed on the curb,” Mat­lack said. “They know that if they run into the street, they don’t get candy. That’s what we teach them.”

Mem­bers of the Mont­gomery Town­ship po­lice dis­trib­uted candy to trick-or­treaters Wed­nes­day as a part of the depart­ment’s an­nual Hal­loween candy dis­tri­bu­tion pro­gram.

Scott Bendig, chief of the depart­ment, called it a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for the RI­fiFHUs WR JLYH EDFN WR WKHLU community, break down some bar­ri­ers and be­come more ac­ces­si­ble to the cit­i­zens they serve.

The pro­gram — in its 2Rth con­sec­u­tive year — also al­lows the po­lice to help main­tain a safe ex­pe­ri­ence for the chil­dren, ac­cord­ing to Mat­lack.

7KH RI­fiFHU SDssHG RuW FDndy to kids in the south­west cor­ner of the town­ship, rolling through the Ter­race at Mont­gomery as well as the Mont­gomery Cross, Mont­gomery Oaks and Or­chards de­vel­op­ment and homes on and around Stump Road.

Ac­cord­ing to Mat­lack, sHYHn RI­fiFHUs sSHnW SDUW RI their shifts pass­ing 2,200 bags of candy in des­ig­nated seg­ments of the town­ship.

A 2R-year vet­eran of the depart­ment, Mat­lack said he has de­liv­ered Hal­loween candy ev­ery year but one.

“The early teenage kids know what we’re do­ing,” he said. “They wait for us.”

,nLWLDOOy, LnGLYLGuDO RI­fi­cers bought the candy they dis­trib­uted, ac­cord­ing to Mat­lack. He said they car­ried it in a bowl.

But as the mu­nic­i­pal pop­u­la­tion grew from 8,000 in 1987 to 32,000 cur­rently, the candy dis­tri­bu­tion pro­gram grew ex­po­nen­tially, ac­cord­ing to Mat­lack.

Ear­lier this month, po­lice depart­ment mem­bers, their fam­i­lies, town­ship em­ploy­ees and other community mem­bers got to­gether to bag candy, ac­cord­ing to Bendig.

Mat­lack said the whole process, com­pleted two weeks ago, lasted three hours.

“It is quite an op­er­a­tion,” WKH RI­fiFHU sDLG.”

Pho­tos by GE­OFF PATTON

Lucy Weng, 3, ac­cepts a Hal­loween treat from Mont­gomery Town­ship Of­fi­cer Jim Mat­lack Wed­nes­day.

Cally, cen­ter, and Maya Thomas ac­cept a Hal­loween treat from Of­fi­cer Jim Mat­lack.

Mont­gomery Town­ship po­lice Of­fi­cer Jake Beebe, left, picks up a bin full of Hal­loween treats for dis­tri­bu­tion to young­sters.

Of­fi­cer Jim Mat­lack gives out a Hal­loween treat to a young per­son in cos­tume Wed­nes­day night.

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