Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- While the little ones were out trick or treating, the Richland County Sheriff's Department was keeping a watchful eye.
"Once you have a child, you know you have to protect them. It's mostly just overblown fear, but it's there," Robert Davidson said. "He's our life."
For the Davidson's, their son Ian's trick or treating was short lived.
"We went one yard over and one yard next door. And that was it," Laura Davidson said.
In neighborhoods around Richland County, trick or treaters young and old could see the light -- blue ones. Richland deputies rode around to provide assistance and even glow sticks.
"When they go door-to-door they're being mindful that police are still out here and if they ever need help that we're keeping their neighborhoods safe," said Sr. Deputy Aubree Torres with RCSD.
Torres is with the department's Community Action Team or CAT. And through the night we both noticed, trick or treaters were sparse. And that's because many folks were "trunk or treating"
"We wanted to make sure parents had a place that they could bring their children so that they would be safe and they would be well taken care of," said Katie VanceLucas with St. Andrews Baptist Church holding a Trunk or Treat. "An atmosphere that would promote community instead of keeping children on the streets at night."
Trunk or treating is when people gather treats from the back of the church volunteers cars.
"This is our church and it just feels so much safer coming here instead of taking the kids door to door where people can mess with candy and it's not very safe for our kids," said attendee Michael Ruff.
"You don't have to worry about going to a dark house you're not familiar with or that you're in a road where there's traffic, it's all safe for your kids," said Trunk or treat volunteer Tara Heil.
So whether you were partaking in trunk or treating, or being a bit more traditonal, Richland deputies made sure the outcome was safe and sweet.
RCSD has about 15 members on the CAT division to help patrol neighborhoods tonight.