The Arizona Highway Patrol Association (AHPA) is offering the public tips for friends and family to stay out of danger this Halloween. “Law enforcement reminds guardians not to be complacent, especially when violent crimes and domestic violence calls for service have increased in certain parts of the state,” says Sgt. Jimmy Chavez, President of the AHPA.
It is important to keep Arizona kids and community safe during Halloween. As families and friends get ready for the spooky festivities, the Arizona Highway Patrol Association (AHPA) has a few instructions to consider. “Children can hardly wait to put on their costumes and fill up their bags with treats,” states Sgt. Chavez. “Unfortunately that excitement can sometimes make both children and adults forget to be careful while they’re out having fun.”
- Check the sex offender’s database (azsexoffenders.org) so that you can avoid those residents, if applicable, in your neighborhood.
- Teach children if anyone tries to grab them to make a scene; loudly yell this person is not my father/mother/guardian; and make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming, and resisting.
- A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds. Stay in a group, walk slowly and communicate where you are going.
- Plan and review with your children the route and behavior which you are familiar with. Remain on well-lit streets and use the sidewalks. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway. Never cut through alleys or sidewalks.
- Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
- Make sure you use a flashlight with new batteries.
- Take extra effort to eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway. Check around your property for flower pots, low tree limbs, support wires or garden hoses that may prove hazardous to young children rushing from house to house.
- Teach children their home phone number and to how call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost. Remind them that 9-1-1 can be dialed free from any phone.
- Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.
- Think twice before using simulated knives, guns or swords. If such props must be used, be certain they do not appear authentic and are soft and flexible to prevent injury. Also, beware that some masks can block light.
- Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible Adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
- Remember curfew and noise ordnance laws – police officers do enforce these.
If parents, friends and family follow these tips, the AHPA is sure that we will continue to keep our communities safe.