By Kimberly Davis


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — While many Philadelphians were concerned for their safety while trick-or-treating, police in West Philly helped ease those worries on Thursday night by swapping their patrol cars for the Ghoul Bus.

One 8-year-old girl said it was weird to see police officers handing out candy. She said she’s used to seeing officers in bad situations, but on Halloween, she saw the police in a different light.

“We have our guy right here, Mr. Skeleton Man,” Philadelphia Police Officer Shamssadeen Baukman said.

It wasn’t a typical police vehicle.

“I’m excited to see what people think when they come walking in here and take a tour,” Baukman said.

Baukman and fellow officer Justin Harris, of the 18th District, put a twist on trick-or-treating this year.

In fact, they transformed a police vehicle into the Ghoul Bus Express as they handed out free candy.

The first stop was at 60th and Locust Streets. Even Michael Jackson came out and showed some moves.

Then the bus headed to West Philadelphia, where residents were happy to see police lights.

“To see the police officers coming together with the community is amazing,” West Philly resident Dayshona Sanders said. “We need more of this.”

Others agreed.

“I’m glad they came out to have a presence and have some fun interaction,” resident Judith Palmer said. “And it’s not just something’s wrong. It’s oh, candy.”

One 8-year-old said it was a dream come true to receive candy from the police.

“It would be a dream to get candy from police officers because the candy wouldn’t be just any candy — it would be special candy,” 8-year-old David Ghohestani said.

The last stop was at Malcolm X Park, where trick-or-treaters were anxious to clear out the rest of the 18th District’s stash.

It was the first year for the Ghoul Bus Express and Philadelphia residents are hoping it won’t be the last.

“We just love to light up kids’ smiles and brighten up their nights,” Harris said. “So if we want to be that light in the community, we got to turn ourselves on.”

The officers say they’re interested in doing it again next year and perhaps even for Christmas too.

Kimberly Davis