Halloween is not one of our Officers and Dispatcher’s favorite holidays. In fact, it can really be a frightening night!
While it’s fun to see trick-or-treaters wearing their costumes, each Halloween also brings out the mischievous spirit in people.
And, it is these mischievous spirits that really tax our department’s resources.
So while our dispatchers frantically answer 911 calls, and police officers race from call to call – trying to keep those mischievous spirits from hurting each other or someone else – it’s important that we give everyone a few safety tips to keep in mind.
If your children go trick-or-treating, please make sure a responsible adult is present.
Stick to neighborhoods you know, and be sure to bring a flashlight. If the costume doesn’t have reflective properties, add reflective tape – this will help cars see children if they dart into the street.
If a mask obscures a child’s vision, have the child pull the mask on for the trick-or-treat moment, and then remove it to avoid trips or falls on poorly lit sidewalks.
And most importantly, after kids have collected their loot, an adult should inspect the candy and discard any that is unwrapped or appears to be tampered with.
For those – sometimes – mischievous spirited teenagers, parents should ask where their children are going and what their plans are.
Halloween shouldn’t be an excuse to vandalize homes with eggs or toilet paper, shoot paint ball guns at young trick-or-treaters, or perform other harmful pranks.
For young (and not-so-young) adults who attend parties where alcohol is served, be sure someone is identified as a designated driver for the evening, so everyone gets home safely.
Every 52 minutes on average, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash and every 90 seconds, someone is injured due to this entirely preventable crime.
Our department always adds officers on Halloween night to keep our community safe. So if you drink and drive… don’t complain when we take you to jail.
Staying Safe at Home
For households who get into the holiday spirit of handing out candy, keep your porch light on and greet trick-or-treaters at the door. Do not allow strangers into your home for any reason, including going to the bathroom or making a phone call.
If you are a pet owner, remember that Halloween can be spooky for pets, too. Keep the family dog away from unfamiliar trick-or-treaters. Dogs may feel threatened, or think their owners are being threatened, and become aggressive. Avoid this by keeping pets away from the door.
If you do not welcome trick-or-treaters, be sure to turn off your porch light. This is the universal sign to children that they should not knock on your door on Halloween. If your porch light is on but there is no candy, pranksters may be tempted to respond inappropriately.
As always, our department’s mission is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have any suggestions or comments about how we can improve, please feel free to call me, complete our online survey, or leave a crime tip on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.
Some people use Halloween as an excuse to behave badly. We will enforce the law on Halloween as we do every other day of the year.
If you are concerned that people are taking Halloween too far and putting themselves or others at risk, do not hesitate to report that activity to us.
We would rather address a situation early than deal with damage after it’s done.
Please – Don’t Drink and Drive – and, help us make Halloween a safe holiday event