DMPD passes out candy for Beggars' Night

Twenty-three officers took part in the fun

DES MOINES - For Officer Jason Hemsted, his Halloween ritual is probably a bit different than yours.

For four out of the six years he's been on the force, Hemsted has worked Halloween night.
Before he heads out, Hemsted gears up, with his usual officer getup.

"We're going to take this opportunity," said Officer Jason Hemsted. "This great time of the year to go out and speak to the kids, and try to inject into them a positive memory of the police department."

But while he's patrolling the streets, looking for trouble, he's also seeking opportunities to build up rapport with kids in the community.

"The little kids, they're still little kids and they have still have the excitement and enthusiasm. It's just real fun and really enjoyable," said Hemsted.

Hemsted says some of these visits are cut short because real crimes can pop up.

"There's always something happening, kids getting their candy stolen, tomatoes, eggs being thrown," he said. "There's some kind of joy people get by afflicting others."

But there's something satisfying for him about this process of meeting and greeting, and growing closer to the people he protects.

"The positive reception and then saying good bye, and thank you and just being really happy that we stopped and interacted with them," said Hemsted. "That makes it fun."

Des Moines wasn't able to send as many officers on candy patrol in 2016. This year, they were back in full force. Twenty-three officers had candy to give out in their cars.

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