TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It was a night both anticipated and dreaded by the citizens of Seminole Heights. Halloween was always a beloved occasion in the historic Tampa neighborhood.
But, this year was different for residents.
Three of their own were gone – victims of a savage killer, still on the loose.
How were neighbors supposed to be outside after dark and feel safe?
How were moms and dads going to protect their children?
The questions weighed heavy on citizens as October 31st approached, and for one mom – it was too much. Tammy Brooks decided she would take her daughter to another neighborhood. It was a difficult choice that would halt the yearly tradition she shared with her daughter.
Little did she know – Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Police Chief Brian Dugan had a plan. They would bring Halloween to Seminole Heights with officers, and the city leaders themselves, walking house to house to trick or treat.
Extraordinary things happened.
People walked outside and stayed there, including Tammy.
“We’re not going to stay hunkered down and stay locked up in our homes. We’re going to get out and have a good time and be a community again,” said Tammy.
Neighbors were no longer nervous.
It was a brief, blissful moment where residents relaxed.
The simple act of walking down a city street was liberating and empowering.
After all, this is home, and no one can ever take that away.
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