Officials want safe Halloween

Published 6:00 am Thursday, October 30, 2003

Irene Smith is expecting company Friday.

“We always have a drove,” the McCall Creek woman said earlierthis week as she and friend Arlona Freeman picked up Halloweencandy at a Brookhaven store.

The women selected a variety of candy to hand out tomorrownight.

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“I just get different kinds that they like,” Smith said.

Smith and Freeman are not alone in preparing forTrick-or-Treating visits from children dressed as ghosts, goblinsand the occasional super hero or princess.

Law enforcement officials are urging extra precautions as thelittle ones take to the streets in search of candy and othergoodies. “Big ones” were also encouraged to go along on the tripsas chaperones.

“I would hope to see parents out with their kids,” saidBrookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson. “It’s the weekend andtraffic will be heavier than normal.”

While there are no set hours for the activity, Hendersonsuggested Trick-or-Treating be done between 6 p.m. and 8:30p.m.

“Between those hours, the kids ought to have more than enoughcandy,” the chief said.

Henderson said parents should be mindful to not let theirchildren dart out in front of cars. Motorists, he said, shoulddrive slowly through neighborhoods and pull off on the roadside orin a driveway if possible when children are in the area.

“We want everyone to enjoy themselves and have a good time,”Henderson said. “But we also want them to have a safe time.”

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Sudie encouragedparents to dress their children in colorful costumes that will helpthem be more visible to drivers. Also, she said parents shouldcheck the candy that children receive before allowing them to eatit.

“That’s always important,” Palomarez said.

Palomarez mentioned several churches that are hosting fallfestivals as alternatives or in addition to Trick-or-Treating.

“Those are places that children could go without having to getout on the roads,” the deputy said.

Regarding the tricks aspect of Halloween night, Henderson saidthat has typically not been a problem.

“Every once in a while, we’ll have an egg-throwing or somethinglike that, but normally it goes well,” Henderson said.

The chief attributed the relative calm in the past to the factthat, most of the time, Trick-or-Treating is done on a school nightduring the week. The activity being on a Friday night this yearcould produce different results, but he was not sure.

Law enforcement officials said they planned to maintain a highvisibility Friday while monitoring the expected heaviertraffic.

“There’ll be some extra patrols out and probably some roadblockshere and there,” Palomarez said.

Henderson said officers will be out patrolling Friday night inan effort to keep down potential mischief.

“The bottom line is we want it to be a safe Halloween foreveryone,” Henderson said.