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Police officer goes to the library to read — ends up trick-or-treating with pumpkins, princesses

Halloween story time with Puyallup police officer Mark Ketter

Puyallup police officer Mark Ketter reads Halloween books and gives advice on trick-or-treating to kids at the Puyallup library.
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Puyallup police officer Mark Ketter reads Halloween books and gives advice on trick-or-treating to kids at the Puyallup library.

More than two dozen pumpkins, heroes and princesses gathered around Puyallup police Officer Mark Ketter Friday as he read Halloween books.

Parents and grandparents joined their children for Puyallup Public Library’s Halloween-themed Story Time. Kids were encouraged to dress in costume for a reading and lesson on Halloween safety.

“The innocent energy of the kids is great,” Ketter said. “I love it. That’s why I volunteer.”

The children gathered around him as he read three stories: “My First Halloween,” “Eerie, Feary Field” and “Five Little Pumpkins.” He then taught the children tips on safe trick-or-treating.

Ketter encouraged the kids to wear bright costumes, plan their routes and stay close to their parents while visiting houses.

Children then lined up and received goodie bags as they practiced trick-or-treating with Ketter one-by-one. The bags included a safety-themed coloring book, crayons and a Junior Officer sticker badge from the Puyallup Police Department.

Bonnie Anderson, Youth Services librarian, says participation from police in Story Time helps build relationships between children and officers.

“Kids can see police officers are cool and have good experiences with them,” Anderson said. “October is a great time for officers to come because they can teach about Halloween safety.”

Ashley Cuyle, a mother who attended Friday’s reading, agreed.

“I think it’s important for kids to have relationships with our police,” Cuyle said.

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