Living next door to a California State University can have its perks. For Scott Champion, a 60-year-old CSUN neighbor, the presence of CSUN’s Police Department (PD) is comforting and keeps surrounding communities safe, especially with Halloween fast approaching.
In an effort to show his appreciation, Champion prepared lunch for CSUN PD Thursday afternoon. Once a year, usually around spring, Champion prepares lunch and dinner for campus police. He has carried on this tradition for the past four years and usually carries it out alone.
“It’s basically to say thanks to them for their service and being present in general,” Champion said. “But also specifically because they help the neighborhood during Halloween.”
According to Champion, who resides on Sunburst Street, there are about 3,000 to 4,000 people who show up in his neighborhood for Halloween to trick or treat, and campus police come out every year to help regulate the crowd.
“They help us with crowd control (and) traffic control,” said Champion. “They block the street at each end because there are so many people so it’s too dangerous for people to be driving through. It’s pretty cool because they also hand out candy and let kids take pictures with them at each end of the street.”
For Champion, bringing food to people is a normal activity. Champion often brings food to his co-workers at work and at various other events. When he brings food to CSUN officers he comes both during the afternoon and the evening to ensure that the officers on every shift get to eat.
“As a department we’re used to sometimes getting trays of brownies or cookies, various neighbors would make them and bring them in for the officers and staff as a thank you for what we do,” Chief of Police Anne Glavin said. “But Mr. Champion’s luncheon is the most generous show of appreciation. It’s just a lovely thing to do.”
When Champion brings food to campus police, he comes both during the afternoon and the evening to ensure that the officers on every shift get to eat.
Champion appreciates the presence of the CSUN Police Department, noting that several times officers have stopped by his home if a door to his house or car was open to make sure Champion is okay.
“Essentially what we’re trying to do is be good neighbors,” Glavin said. “Over the years we had some issues in the neighborhood during Halloween and sometimes Christmas but with the officers present they’ve been able to basically keep the peace.”
The number of officers that assist the neighborhood during Halloween vary, some officers assist with parking, others with crowd control, and still others hand out candy. Campus police are not being paid for these services, but are, according to Glavin, establishing a good “town-gown relationship” with CSUN neighbors.
“They’re kind of like our hometown police, they’re always around,” Champion said. “Over the years I got to know these guys, so that’s always comforting.”