NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Cops wearing wolf masks, cops dressed as clowns, cops in cages and chained to walls crouched in the darkness of the basement of the 78th Precinct in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, Monday evening waiting to scare children.
"Sometimes I have to worry about my cops-slash-actors because we like to entertain people," Deputy Inspector Frank DiGiacomo said. "Not just scare them."
When DiGiacomo joined the NYPD 25 years ago, he did not imagine his future supervisor duties including spending four months a year creating a haunted-house in a precinct basement.
"Never. Not at all," DiGiacomo said.
But life's full of twists and turns. In DiGiacomo's case, ones he built to hide cops in dresses cops banging on walls and a cop pretending to die of electrocution.
More than 6,000 children and young adults passed through the 78th Precinct's haunted house last year and reviews of this fourth annual edition suggest DiGiacomo and the 14 or more cops who volunteer their time for five nights every fall continue to improve as actors and set-designers.
"We did a lot more animatronics, more videos," DiGiacomo said.
And those officers with offices in this basement might expect even more construction in their workspace next year.
"Well, yeah, we have our crime team and we have a couple of officers down there," DiGiacomo said.
The 78th Precinct haunted house runs through Tuesday.
"Most kids never come into a precinct so this brings them in and shows them they can have a good time with the cops," DiGiacomo said.