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TOWN TO BEEF UP FOOT PATROLS ON HALLOWEEN

When Cheektowaga trick-or-treaters are out walking the streets Halloween night, so will a few more police officers.

Cheektowaga's Police Foot-Patrol program -- which runs from summer to late fall -- usually has two or four officers walking a few Cheektowaga neighborhoods, but the department will have as many as 10 walking the beat next Friday, officials said.

Four officers will be walking in the Cedargrove Heights area, four along the Walden Avenue neighborhoods and two in the Pine Hill section of Cheektowaga.

The foot patrols are being increased to provide added safety for trick-or-treaters and discourage mischievous behavior or vandalism, said Councilwoman Patricia A. Jaworowicz.

"We have had some foot patrols on Halloween, but we have not had this many officers," said Capt. Richard Chamberlin, who oversees the foot-patrol program. "I feel it will be very effective."

Cheektowaga trick-or-treating hours will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

This is the third year Cheektowaga has had officers walking certain Cheektowaga streets throughout the summer months, Chamberlin said.

This year the program ended in September, but thanks to some additional funding the department brought it back for the month of October, he added.

Halloween night will conclude the foot-patrol program for this year, Chamberlin said, but the program has been successful and hopefully more funding will be available for it next year.

The funding, about $14,000, comes from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant money, which the town receives each year.

The officers walk the streets before or after their work hours and the Community Development Block Grant funds pay for the police overtime.

Officials have indicated some of the 1998 community development money will go toward funding the foot-patrol program again next summer.

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