MUSCATINE, Iowa–As people look for fun ways to celebrate Halloween at home this year, many will turn to pumpkin painting as a creative way to dress up their space. Oct. 16, the Muscatine Police Department took their annual pumpkin painting event out of the Muscatine Community Y and to the parking lot of the Cedar Hills and Cedar Park Apartments. The move allowed for greater social distancing and brought pumpkin painting to many children who might not otherwise have experienced this fun and creative activity. Along with providing pumpkins and decorating supplies, the Muscatine Police Department served hot meals to all who stopped by. Approximately 50 children accompanied by 20 adults attended the event.
The officers who hosted the event valued the opportunity to feed and entertain local children and to connect with the community. “Our goal is to create positive relationships with kids in our community so they see us as fun people who can get down on their level and be goofy, so they can see we are regular people who they can trust and call on if they are in trouble,” said Sergeant Greg Hazelett, one of the organizers of the pumpkin painting.
This year, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Muscatine County, Hy-Vee, The Missipi Brew, New Horizons, the Salvation Army of Muscatine County, and Wal-Mart all helped make the Muscatine Police Department’s pumpkin painting event possible. Hazelett thanked them for their ongoing support of this and other community projects. “The Muscatine Police Department has partnered with so many local businesses that have generously given simply because they share the same goal, giving back to a wonderful community.”
Throughout the year, the Muscatine Police Department holds a variety of community events. These include the annual police and fire department softball game fundraiser, Cop on a Rooftop for Special Olympics, the public safety open house, and their signature Shop with a Cop event.