CULLMAN – With the fall season comes Halloween, and of course, trick-or-treating. Cullman City Police Chief Kenny Culpepper and Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry offer words of advice to those participating in this year’s festivities.
One of the main things the two law enforcement leaders stress is the importance of those who will be trick-or-treating wearing costumes that ensure visibility.
“Wear a bright-colored costume or carry a light,” Culpepper said. “Since most people are out when it is dark, it is important that you are visible to cars and motorists.”
Gentry echoed that, saying, “Parents should put a lighting device on their kids.”
Another concern this year among the two men is that there will be some who dress like clowns to imitate the recent “scary clown sightings” around the country.
“We discourage anyone from dressing like a clown,” Culpepper said. “If we receive reports of anyone disturbing kids and wearing clown costumes, we will investigate and be able to question those who are doing it.”
“Hopefully there won’t be anyone who does it, but there will always be a couple people who do it just for the hype and attention, you know?” said Gentry.
In recent years the annual holiday has not been as difficult for law enforcement as it was in previous generations, thanks to churches and schools hosting well-supervised events such as the popular trunk-or-treats.
“Because you have most of the younger kids congregated in a certain area, with lots of adult supervision, there aren’t nearly as many young kids in the streets going from door to door,” Culpepper said.
Another positive aspect of this year’s Halloween from the police department’s perspective is that it is not on the weekend.
“When Halloween falls on a weekend you have adult parties involving alcohol and that results in DUIs and things of that nature,” Culpepper said.
Since Oct. 31 falls on a Monday this year, the police expect there won’t be a huge problem with drinking, as opposed to those years when the holiday has been on a Friday or Saturday.
“We always put out extra patrols and keep our eyes out,” said Culpepper. “We just want everyone to have a great time and to be safe.”
Follow These Ghoulishly Good Best Practices
To help ensure adults and children have a safe holiday, the American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a list of Halloween Safety Tips, including dos and don'ts on the trick-or-treat trail:
- A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds
- If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you
- Agree on a specific time when children should return home
- Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat
Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don't run, across the street.
NSC offers the following safety tips for parents – and anyone who plans to be on the road during trick-or-treat hours:
Safety Tips for Motorists
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
- Instruct your children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and avoid trick-or-treating alone
- Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home
- Teach your children to never enter a stranger's home
- All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant
- If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags to make sure they are visible
- When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first
- Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation
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