Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Interim Police Chief Brian Dugan celebrated Halloween on Tuesday evening by greeting community members, handing out candy at Giddens Park and joining children for trick-or-treating in the Southeast Seminole Heights area.
"These streets belong to us and goodness is going to win over evil and so we will be out here as long as we have to be to catch this guy," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
In the wake of the recent homicides in the Southeast Seminole Heights area, Interim Chief Dugan has advised residents not to walk alone, especially after sunset.
Residents expressed concerns about trick-or-treating on Halloween. Chief Dugan responded by saying that TPD would have a significant presence in Southeast Seminole Heights on Halloween night, adding that he would join children trick-or-treating in the community.
Mayor Buckhorn and Interim Chief Dugan started with a community roll call at Giddens Park. They were joined by several TPD officers, including mounted officers on horseback, as well as Florida Highway Patrol Troopers.
The Mayor and police officers handed out candy. Other officers walked with children as they trick-or-treated.
"They are as innocent as can be. They deserve what use to be my favorite holiday of the year so whatever we have to do to make sure they get it," said Mayor Buckhorn.
Parents said they are relieved to have a heavy law enforcement presence in the neighborhood.
"I think it's real nice that they took the extra time to do this for them," said parent Coretha Black.