Sunset Park kids descended on Public School 172, on Friday, October 31, for the first annual “Halloween Fright Fest,” an after-school Halloween party featuring rock climbing, a DJ playing top 100 songs, as well as safety tips from McGruff the Crime Dog.
In describing the event, in which the school – at 872 Fourth Avenue – partnered with HealthPlus Amerigroup and the 72nd Precinct, P.S. 172 Principal Jack Spatola emphasized the importance of bringing the community and police department together.
“It’s always been a close partnership between the school and precinct that represents the community,” Spatola said in between greeting parents and children. “The playground is a very safe environment, and the children are very excited for tonight. Every community and every precinct could benefit from an event like this.”
The 72nd Precinct played an active role in the Halloween festivities as well. K9 Units and mounted horses were present at the Halloween fest, and bags of candy (over 240 by the fest’s conclusion) were given out by police officers along with a “Halloween Safety Tips” pamphlet. Police Officer Dean Hanan, of the 72nd Precinct’s Community Affairs Unit, spoke glowingly about the community’s participation in coordinating the event.
“It isn’t very often that people get to communicate with a police officer in a positive situation, so what we try to do is form positive interactions and form positive relationships with the community,” Hanan said. “Thankfully, we have a long-standing relationship with the Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace communities that help us do this.”