SYRACUSE, Utah (ABC4) – Many people in Utah love to get into the fun of Halloween, but few may like it more than Syracuse City. It starts with their police chief, in this edition of Behind the Badge.

Each 31st of October, people expect something spooky, be it in the movies, or even the neighbor’s yard.

Every inch of one yard in front of a Syracuse home is covered in spooky, scary skeletons. Utahns old and young love Halloween, that includes Syracuse City Police Chief Garret Atkin.

“Halloween is the ultimate escape,” said Atkin. By day, he’s a man you would expect to see in uniform. But on Halloween night, he is someone else entirely. He told ABC4 his officers are usually caught off-guard a little bit by seeing the chief dressed in costume.

His affection for fright and what goes bump in the night, are a big reason Syracuse Police hold a big Halloween party for the entire police department and their families.

“I have a pretty stressful job, and at least once a year you can get a chance to escape and pretend and be anything you want to be for a night,” said Atkin.

His officers enjoy it, and the police aren’t the only ones in the city who find Halloween bewitching.

In October Syracuse becomes “Scar-a-cuse,” with citywide celebrations – home after home competing for the scariest house in the city, a contest for Halloween candy houses, and the Syracuse pumpkin walk, filled with thousands of jack-o-lanterns all carved by everyone in town.

“People catch the fever and it becomes something where you may drive through some neighborhoods in Syracuse and it’s like what you would see in other places for Christmas, you have neighbor competing against neighbor to see who can take it over the top,” Atkin said.  

From the smallest kids to those who are maybe a kid at heart, Syracuse has a thrill for chills and sweet spooky fun.

A passion that’s tough to beat when you meet the police chief.

As much fun as Syracuse police like to have with Halloween, they said it’s important to be safe too. So, if your kids are going trick or treating tonight, the chief wants to remind you to stay in groups and well-lit areas, pay attention to drivers and give yourself plenty of time between cars when you’re crossing the street.