Halloween is a bad night for cops. We want everybody to have fun and stay safe, but all those people on the streets in wild outfits seem to bring out the crazies. Add in a full moon? Then the entire department is on duty, watching out for suspicious types. Grownups on foot, in costume, with no kids in tow? Red flags go up.
Police Officers get all kinds of junk thrown at them that night, including candy and pumpkins. I never understood why people who want their neighborhoods to stay safe would do that, but (to quote my Texas pal) “maybe their mommas didn’t raise ‘em right.” Patrol car windows stay rolled up on Halloween.
Cops need some help from the public on Halloween, so here are some common sense safety tips:
These days, no responsible parent allows children to walk door-to-door alone, no matter how safe the neighborhood might be. A group of kids walking together is a good idea. A parent strolling behind is even better. A stranger (maybe a potential mugger or burglar) would normally stick out, but when hiding behind a mask, that stranger might blend right in. Better to be cautious and have a trusted adult keep an eye out for problems while chaperoning the walkers.
Our town has a ‘no mask’ policy for the younger ghosts and goblins. That’s a great idea, because the little kids are less likely to trip and fall if they can actually see where they’re walking. Plus, the Halloween makeup looks pretty cool.
Last year, our community center held a Halloween party after school for kids who didn’t have anyone to take them around. A couple of guys in the department stopped in to help out and had a chance to show the crowd that cops are the good guys. It was such a success that this year, some local churches hosted parties last weekend. Children hear the hype on TV, see the candy in the store, and want to join in, so supervised parties can be a great way to have fun in some neighborhoods that aren’t really suitable for walking at night.
Best tip? Make sure the kids look both ways before crossing the street to get to the ‘best candy’ house on the other side. Getting hit by a car tops the list as the most dangerous thing that happens to children on Halloween.
Stay safe and have a Happy Halloween!
*Photo by Patti Phillips