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Detroit Police Throw Halloween Party While Firefighters On the Run

Detroit Police Throw Halloween Party While Firefighters On the Run

Detroit Free Press via YellowBrix

November 01, 2010

DETROIT – While Detroit firefighters tried to catch their breath Sunday from a busy spurt of battling fires, the city’s police department played party host to scores of families that converged at local precincts for some Halloween fun.

In what was a first for the Detroit Police Department, more than a dozen precincts hosted Halloween festivities for families, offering carnival games, hayrides, hot dogs and of course, plenty of treats — all of which were donated by local businesses.

LaTonya White, who took two young trick-or-treaters to a party sponsored by the 6th and 8th precincts, said she was glad to see Detroit doing something positive for kids. She said she might not take her kids trick-or-treating — fearing crime — so the police event was an ideal alternative.

“It’s nice, real nice, especially for the kids,” said White, who hopes the police hold the events again next year.

Alisha Johnson, 24, of Detroit, who brought a carload of youngsters to the event, agreed.

“It gives the kids something to do,” Johnson said.

That was the point, said Geoffrey Townsend, a community affairs officer for Detroit police.

“We’re trying to give back to the community,” Townsend said.

Firefighters, meanwhile, were busy all weekend. “The east side was rocking and rolling” after midnight, Senior Fire Chief Keith Miner, head of fire operations for Detroit, said Sunday.

Fire officials said things got so busy early Sunday; firefighters were told they couldn’t take their breaks due to the volume of calls.

According to Mayor Dave Bing’s office, there were 49 fires between midnight and 7 p.m. Sunday — up nine fires from last year for that time period. Before midnight Saturday, 58 fires were reported in the city, an increase of eight from 2009.

As of 6 p.m. Sunday, an estimated 128 fires had been reported for the three-day Halloween period — up 10 from last year’s total of 119 fires.

Detroit had 41 fires Friday night through 11 p.m., an increase of seven fires over the same day last year, officials said.

No firefighters have been reported injured.

Karen Dumas, a spokeswoman for Bing, said that Detroit, on average, has 30-40 fires per day.

“We’re below average for now,” she said.

Last year’s fires were also down from 2008 — which saw 136 fires — and nowhere near the more than 800 recorded in 1984, the worst of what was then-called Devil’s Night.

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