Whether children are canvassing the community as Snow White or a Ninja Turtle, safety remains a priority for local law enforcement agencies as people enjoy the sights and sounds of Halloween.
Officials with the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety and the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office are hoping to keep all the ghastly ghouls and creepy critters safe on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
“Parents need to make sure they keep an eye on their children. Just don’t let them walk up to the houses by themselves. Know the route that you’re going before you enter that neighborhood and make sure the neighborhood is well lit with street lights,” ODPS Crime Prevention Officer Tanesha Bellinger said.
Bellinger urged parents to dress their children in light-colored clothing to ensure they will be highly visible to motorists and others.
She also urged parents to not “drive to every house,” but rather walk through a neighborhood with their children to avoid traffic congestion. Parking safely at the end of the block before walking through a neighborhood is recommended. Then drive off to the next block if you need to, Bellinger said.
Distraction can also be a problem on Halloween.
“You’d be surprised how many people are walking around with their heads down looking at their devices. Put down electronic devices to see where you’re walking and what your surrounding areas are,” Bellinger said.
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She said checking kids’ candy before they eat it is also urged, along with walking on sidewalks rather than in roadways.
The ODPS will be providing extra patrols for the purpose of safety and security on Halloween.
“We will be more visible. And then we have several trunk-or-treats going on throughout the city. That’s just another safe haven for the kids to come trick-or-treat,” Bellinger said.
The ODPS has set trick-or-treat hours in the city for 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Halloween. The OCSO has set trick-or-treat hours at 6 to 8 p.m. in unincorporated areas of the county.
The sheriff’s office has announced that municipalities may have their own specific trick-or-treat times, which must be observed within their town limits. (A list accompanies this story.)
The OSCO will be holding its own Trunk of Treat Extravaganza from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, at the Orangeburg County Law Enforcement Complex at 1520 Ellis Ave. in Orangeburg.