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Hoping to provide a sense of normalcy, the Santa Rosa Police Department has been working for more than a week to collect new Halloween costumes for children who were affected by the fires that swept through Sonoma County.

Since starting its costume drive, the department has collected “thousands” of costumes, with more on the way, said Sgt. Summer Black.

The costumes will be distributed from 3-7 p.m. Friday at the Santa Rosa Christian Church gym, 1315 Pacific Ave., with plenty of first responders on site to hand out candy and help kids sort through their options.

“Before we knew it, (the drive) went wild,” said Black, who is expecting 35 additional boxes of costumes to be delivered Monday from Party City. “Any kind of kids’ costume you want, we’ve got it.”

While the costumes are intended primarily for victims of the fires, “We’re not going to turn away needy families,” she said.

Any leftover costumes will be donated to area nonprofits for their own distribution.

“We’re so thankful for the community,” Black said. “We couldn’t have made it happen without them.”

You can reach Staff Writer Christi Warren at 707-521-5205 or On Twitter @SeaWarren.

Read all of the PD's fire coverage here