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.”
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.