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Ellsworth guards goblins

Ellsworth Air Force Base -- As the spooks, bats, witches and ghosts prowl Ellsworth's family housing searching for treats and other goodies Tuesday, there will be watchful eyes on the young trick-or-treaters. 

No, it's not the local hobgoblin stalking little children so he can haul one back to the proverbial witch's oven. And, unfortunately to die-hard Halloween fans, it's not a vampire lurking for its next victim or a zombie crawling out of a dank and smelly sewer to terrorize locals. 

It's the Ellsworth Pumpkin Patrol. 

"Our goal is to provide kids with a safe and fun environment for their night of trick-or-treating," said Staff Sgt. Joshua Reasnor, an assistant flight chief from the 28th Security Forces Squadron and this year's point of contact for the pumpkin patrol. 

Sergeant Reasnor explained the concept behind the pumpkin patrol is fairly simple and straightforward. 

Volunteers will cover the base housing areas intermingling with parents and kids, he said. "Primarily they will be reporting any potential dangers and providing an adult presence for the kids," he added. 

What makes the pumpkin patrol here unique is that it's not just a "cop thing." 

Ellsworth's Airmen have come together to make sure families stay safe. 

"Parents and members of the community have a common interest in the safety of their neighborhoods and this is one way we can let everyone get involved," said Sergeant Reasnor. 

Master Sgt. Lisa Johnson, a flight chief from the 28th SFS, agreed with Sergeant Reasnor on how Ellsworth's pumpkin patrol is different than other bases. 

"This is the first time in my career I have ever seen other units get involved," she said. "It's pretty cool to think on that night it doesn't matter what unit you're from. It doesn't matter what hat you're wearing. We're all out there keeping the kids safe." 

Should a child become lost or scared during the trick-or-treating times, Sergeant Reasnor said the pumpkin patrol is ready to help. 

"Pumpkin patrollers will be in uniform, easy to spot, and there will be plenty in your area," Sergeant Reasnor explained. 

Most patrollers, with the exception of a few civilian volunteers, will be in uniform, will have flashlights and at least one person in every group will wear a bright traffic vest, he said. 

"Everyone volunteered because they want to help, so please feel free to approach any patroller for any reason," he added. "If the child is unattended patrollers will probably already have a watchful eye on them." 

So far, Ellsworth has 48 volunteers from seven different squadrons and one security forces K-9 unit to help with the pumpkin patrol, Sergeant Reasnor said. 

"In the past the patrols have been very successful. With the number of volunteers we have this year, I'm looking forward to another incident free evening," he added. 

Ellsworth's trick-or-treating hours are Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

For more information concerning the pumpkin patrol, Sergeant Reasnor can be e-mailed at joshua.reasnor@ellsworth.af.mil.