DENVER - You could call him the Clark Griswold of Halloween, but that may be an understatement. Northglenn Police Chief Jim May said, "I say I make the Griswolds look like amateurs. I’m considered that “Halloween house” in the neighborhood. Once you do it, you can’t stop. You have to up the game, they’re expecting something different."
May has been carefully handcrafting foam props since 1999. He now has a collection of more than 100. Chief May said, "I told people in the beginning my props look pretty good in the dark." This is not May's full-time job, it's just a hobby.
He is the police chief of Northglenn. This all started in 1999 when May was on the SWAT team and responded to the massacre at Columbine High School. He said, "Just witnessing that, seeing that, just a horrific scene. Coming back from that, it affected everybody."
May wanted to do something to help teenagers in his community. He started a safe street trick or treat event at Northglenn High School. "The police department was responsible for the front entrance. We were on a shoe string budget ... very little, so we couldn’t afford props so we made things." So he taught himself how to make these sculptures. He even learned how to sew.
His favorite? The very first sculpture he ever made. Frankenstein. He said only the head has survived all these years.
His art has brought a lot of joy to kids, and along the way, he has found it to be therapeutic. May said, "It’s a stress reliever for me, seeing the things officers go through, this is one of those outlets. I will disappear in the basement and create something."
He has created memories to last a lifetime. He said. "I really enjoy it. I truly do. That's what it's about. Kids and families."
Find information on next year's Safe Street event at Northglenn High School or other events in Northglenn here.