Trunk or Treating event promotes child safety

GRAND ISLAND, Neb.-- The candy hunt is already on this week, as kids dress up as their favorite monster or superhero for Halloween, but how they get those treats is starting to change.

Hundreds of people were lined up outside of Kohl's Wednesday afternoon, not for a big, black Friday-type of sale, but for a roped-off trunk or treating event.

"I think this is becoming more of a family type event for families to come out and do it, kind of all in one area. They're not having to get in the car and get kids in and out of the cars.. so I think they're becoming more popular because of that," said Grand Island Patrol Officer Wendy Piercy.

Wednesday's trunk or treating event was organized by Kohl's and CHI St. Francis Hospital as a way to promote child safety during Halloween. It's the first time either has put together such an event.

"Gone are the days of you just sending your kiddo out and telling them to go out and trick or treat at your neighbors house because you just don't know what's going on in their neighborhoods. You've got all of the clowns stuff going on and other things in your neighborhood because you just don't know what's going on," said Angie Lemburg.

Lemburg said fewer families are taking kids out trick or treating in her neighborhood. She said events like truck or treating give some parents piece of mind because they know how safe the events are.

However, while concerns over safety are becoming more prevalent,
Officer Piercy said police haven't had too many issues on Halloween night.

"Usually we deal with teenagers getting into mischief, taking pumpkins and smashing them, throwing eggs, that type of thing. We're very fortunate that we don't have a lot of violent crime that happens around Halloween that maybe some of the bigger cities do," said Piercy.

One family at Wednesday's event said they enjoyed coming out, but that they still plan or trick or treating with their kids around the neighborhood.

"I think we'd probably do both, but I like this still. I think it's fun for them to knock up on the door," said Hannah Richardson.

The Grand Island Police Department won't be increasing the number of officers on patrol on Halloween, but they will be monitoring some of the busier streets and neighborhoods, to make sure that drivers are slowing down and paying attention to all of the trick or treaters crossing the street.