Police officers step up Halloween patrols

CAVE CITY, AR (KAIT) – The ghouls and goblins may roam the streets on Halloween night, but so did the police.

All across Northeast Arkansas, police departments stepped up their patrols to make sure everyone had a safe, but happy Halloween.

For Cave City police, the holiday meant all hands on deck. Police Chief Nathan Stephens scheduled all 12 of his full-time, part-time and auxiliary officers to work that evening.

Cave City police respond to some of the same calls every Halloween, but Stephens says the scares are usually pretty tame. Still, he likes to have every officer on the streets just in case.

"Cave City, it's a quiet town," he said. "It's always better to be safe than sorry, so I'm going to get all the officers I can out and do what I can to keep it that way."

The chief said Halloween is one of the only days that he schedules all 12 officers to work at once.

"You have all the pedestrian traffic, a whole lot of kids paying a whole lot more attention to candy than they do traffic," Stephens said. "So I try to get everybody I can out on tonight and do our best to keep everyone safe."

This year, however, Carey Markum and her family tried to make their jobs a little less frightful.

"We love going door to door – everybody loves that, but it gets to the point where it's just so congested on the roads it takes forever and it's a little more dangerous," Markum said. "So, I tried to think of something that would be more for our area that we could do like at the park or inside the gym that would be a lot safer for the kids."

Two months ago, she decided to organize what she hoped would be a new Halloween destination for local families. On Thursday evening, she turned the Cave City Middle School gym into a fun place for kids. She expected about 300 children to attend the event, where they could trick-or-treat at different booths and hunt for 4,000 'haunted' eggs stuffed with candy.

"I'm going to have 15 different booths set up giving out candy, [too]," Markum said. "I think this could be the beginning of something."

What she was most looking forward to, though, was the parade of costumes.

"I love seeing those kids," said Markum, who dressed as a witch. "I have friends that they've probably spent more money and time on their kids' costumes this year knowing that they're going to be in a well-lit area with other people seeing it. We love that."

Several sponsors helped her put on the event. They included Cave City Pharmacy, Subway, Charles Landers Auto, Citizens Bank, Fore Family Practice, Moore Farms, First Community Bank, Kim Gleghorn It Works, Pak Rats and Wyndi's Salon.

Markum hopes to grow this event each year and make it a new family-friendly tradition in Cave City.

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