GRPD focused on community despite Halloween threats against law enforcement

Posted at 11:26 PM, Oct 31, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Halloween might be a big night for trick-or-treaters, but it's an even busier night for police.

This week the FBI issued a warning to police departments across the country, citing the possibility of groups planning attacks against law enforcement.

"When we receive a threat we do take those threats as credible whether they seem minute or not, we don’t want to underestimate anything," said Sgt. Terry Dixon with the Grand Rapids Police Department.

According to the FBI, credible intel provided reason to believe an anarchist group might have been using Halloween as an opportunity to ambush police across the country. The group apparently told members to create a disturbance, or 'Halloween revolt,' to attract officers in an effort to attack them, according to reports from FOX News.

Although the warning doesn't specify where the threat would've been, GRPD reminded its officers to stay vigilant and safe.

"We do take these threats seriously.  We’re telling our officers to be extra vigilant out there tonight. We do have patrols who are actively looking for things that are out of the ordinary," Dixon said.

But Saturday night GRPD didn't double up while on patrol, nor did they call in extra officers.

Instead, they stayed focused on community by handing out candy to kids in the community.

It's something new the GRPD is trying out this year in an effort to interact with the community.

"What we’re looking to do is to get closer to those we serve so that we can do our jobs better, also, so the community can trust the officers who serve," Dixon said.

FOX 17 rode along with Officer Dijon Jones from GRPD Saturday night. He believes giving kids candy is a great way to interact with the little ones around town, adding that his main goal is to change the perception people may have about police.

"Right now, this type of interaction with the community is needed. [There are] a lot of negative things you see going on in the news right now, it’s good to see some of those positive things going on as well," Jones said.

This is the first year the GRPD handed out candy, all thanks to Meijer donating 200 bags of sweets.