SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - From superheroes to Star Wars, dozens of kids dressed in their favorite costumes and families celebrated an early Halloween at Mama Marks Park.
"I think they should do more of these things," explained resident, Alexis Hampton.
The bags filled with candy at this trunk or treat in Del Paso Heights is not the only thing families are taking away.
"With the police out here heavy like this I think the kids feel safer," explained mother, Hasina Holleman.
Holleman brought her family to enjoy the fun with high energy but heavy hearts. The park is the same location where 9-year-old Makaylah Brent was shot and killed last October in a drive-by shooting
"When that happened I didn't know how to react. It touched a lot of families," explained Holleman. "Being out here and seeing all of this, just makes us want to heal better and come together," she said.
The Trunk or Treat event was formed in response to Makaylah's death. Sacramento Police hosted the first one in 2020.
Changes spurred by the city council include park renovations and implementing safety measures including new security cameras. Councilmember Sean Loloee, who represents the district where the park is located, explained more renovations to the park are also expected to come.
"This is our park and it has to be safe. I've reached out to the Sacramento police department and I've asked them to make sure our communities are safe and don't wait for something to happen in order to mobilize," explained Loloee.
Along with physical changes, Sacramento police believe their partnership with community organizations is a major factor in reducing violence.
"Anytime we get an opportunity to bring community-based organizations and the police department together for positive interactions, it really helps building that trust that we want," explained Sgt. Eddie Macaulay.
Aaron Cardoza runs Brother 2 Brother, an organization that mentors at-risk youth. Cardoza explained he has seen significant improvements over the last year in the community through partnering with the police department.
"What it does is they make it safe on their side and we also make it safe on our side and all we do is come together and try to make a difference for the whole community," he explained. "I've seen the gun violence slowdown tremendously for the past six months. There is no violence, nobody getting killed out here, especially gang violence and that's what is good to me that's why I work so hard and my brothers work so hard just to make sure that we can stop the gang violence out here," he said.
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