Police Chief Adam Mefford recently told Jacksonville residents some safety tips to keep in mind for trick or treating this week. Trick-or-treating will be the same as it has been, beginning at 5PM and ending at 9PM on both October 30th and October 31st. If residents do not wish to participate, they can simply turn their front porch light off on one or both nights. Mefford said the age limit in the city ordinance for trick-or-treating is 13 year old, but the police department doesn’t enforce it harshly if older siblings are out with younger trick or treaters.
Mefford said the important thing during dark hours is to be seen, even if you’re not so scary. Carrying a flashlight or wearing a reflective piece of tape on the back, legs, or sleeves is important to being seen crossing streets and in low-light areas during trick or treat hours. With the possibility of snow, it’s important to place reflective tape on possibly worn coats and hats for trick-or-treating times this year.
Mefford also recommended glow sticks as another alternative to a flash light to being seen. Mefford said that extra foot patrols will also be out in the heavily trafficked areas of the city. He said officers will be wearing reflective vests and will be available to provide extra assistance if they are needed.
Mefford says parents also have to do their due diligence after the trick-or-treating is over. He said that candy and snack companies have done a better job in recent years of individually wrapped treats that are easily spotted if they have been tampered with. Mefford says that in years past, parents always made sure that trick or treating was done at people houses that were acquainted with the family. He says that it’s still a good idea to do that, even though he doesn’t feel like there are malicious people in the Jacksonville community. He says that anything that could possibly may come from outside the city’s limits or at the candy factory. Spreading candy out and going through looking for broken packaging or suspicious looking packages will help ensure that children stay out of harm’s way during the candy feast.
Mefford said that a little bit of common sense safety during Halloween will go a long way in keeping your family and the community safe.