Police hoping for safe Beggars Night
Whether you call it Beggars Night or trick-or-treat, it is a night meant for one thing.
"It's a time to have fun," Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden said.
During Golden's more than eight years in Marysville, he said he cannot remember a Halloween where something unusual happened and he wants to keep it that way.
"We'll have six or seven cruisers out that night. We will have some extra overtime officers out," he said.
Trick-or-treat is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31 in Marysville. The extra officers will be out long after 8 p.m.
"There's a difference between trick-or-treating and vandalism," Golden said. "It's not just a trick to take somebody's pumpkin and throw it out in the street or against a car, write on windows, or upset things."
Police officers will patrol to make sure there is no vandalism in the city, he said.
Some pumpkins have been broken over the last week throughout Marysville, according to Golden, and a car in the Mill Valley neighborhood was hit with a pumpkin.
"It was a parked car but it can still do a lot of damage,""he said.
A semi traveling on U.S. Route 33 was damaged by a pumpkin thrown from the state Route 4 bridge on Oct. 15.
"That goes beyond being funny or a trick. You can kill somebody that way,"Golden said.
Patrol officers will be joined by members of the Safe Communities/Safe Kids Coalition on Halloween night, he said.
"It's something we started doing about three years ago," Union County Health Department Public Information Officer Jennifer Thrush said.
"The goal of the volunteers is pedestrian and traffic safety," she said. "They pass out glow necklaces plus literature to remind people of safety issues."
Golden said parents need to be prepared in order to ensure their children's safety during trick-or-treat.
He recommends children carry a glow stick or a flashlight of some kind.
Costumes should be fireproof but should also be short enough not to trip children.
False faces hinder sight and hearing for trick-or-treaters, he noted.
Children also get preoccupied with the festivities of the evening -- "especially the little ones that see something across the street," Golden said.
"They'll dart out across the street and don't really think about cars," he said.
Technology can also be helpful when children go out on their own or in groups.
Golden recommends at least one child in the group carry a cell phone with numbers programmed in so it is easy to get in touch with parents quickly.
"Also, you need to be familiar with the neighborhood that you're in," he said. "It doesn't hurt to get on the sex-offender registry and see where those folks may reside and avoid those residences. "
That list can be found at sheriffalerts.com/cap_main php? office=55206.
Golden said the officers on the street are there to help but children should not approach other strangers in cars to get candy.
He also stressed that drivers must pay attention, drive below the speed limit on neighborhood streets and not pass stopped cars that may be dropping off children during the community event.
"The children can pop out from behind cars just anywhere,"Golden said.