Sheriff Craig Webre announced deputies will conduct the annual Blue Light Special patrol on Halloween to ensure public safety during trick-or-treating. More than 130 deputies will patrol the streets of Lafourche Parish neighborhoods beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, October 31. This patrol will continue through the peak hours of trick-or-treating until at least 8:30 p.m. and will continue as long as necessary to ensure the safety of residents. Deputies will patrol with emergency lights activated to remind motorists to drive slowly and exercise extreme caution as children take to the streets.
“This is a night when kids are focused on having fun, and so, we encourage adults to be vigilant to keep the little ones safe,” said Sheriff Webre. “As usual, we will have deputies patrolling in every neighborhood throughout the parish to ensure safety and ensure a quick response in the event of an emergency.”
Residents are urged to notify the nearest deputy or call the Sheriff’s Office to report any suspicious activity on Halloween night. “There will inevitably be people dressed as evil-looking clowns this year, but wearing such a costume is neither illegal nor should it be considered suspicious behavior on Halloween,” said Sheriff Webre. “With that said, residents should report anyone, regardless of attire, exhibiting behavior that is suspicious or out of the ordinary for trick-or-treating. Our deputies will respond and investigate the situation. Do NOT attempt to take matters into your own hands.”
Residents are also cautioned not to enter private businesses, such as stores, wearing any costume mask or facial disguise. Many stores have policies prohibiting the wearing of masks or hoods at any time. A store manager may ask the wearer to remove the mask or leave the premises.
With several Halloween-related events planned throughout Lafourche Parish over the next two weeks, Sheriff Webre offers these additional Halloween safety tips for residents:
- Ensure your child’s costume is safe and distinguishable. Ensure your child can easily walk in the costume and that the fabric is flame retardant. Use glow bracelets/sticks, reflective tape and flashlights to ensure your child is easily visible. With store-bought costumes, change or add something to make your child distinguishable from others.
- Ensure proper supervision for your children. We strongly urge parents to supervise their own children. If you must entrust your child to another adult, ensure you have up-to-date contact information. If they are headed out with a group, make sure there is a buddy system in place.
- Stay off your smartphone. Adults should be ever-vigilant while supervising children, and no one should be walking along the roadside while looking down or distracted.
- Inspect all treats collected. Discard anything that is not sealed, has torn packaging, looks questionable, or may be a choking hazard.
- Talk to your children about safety. Remind them to walk (don’t run) on sidewalks or near the edge of the roadway – never in the center and always facing traffic. Remind them to stay in front of residences giving out candy and NEVER enter a residence. Have a plan for in case you and your child get separated.
Everyone should also prepare their homes for trick-or-treaters. Clear sidewalks and pathways of any obstacles, and put away anything children could trip over such as hoses, toys, or yard decorations. Turn on your lights so your property is well-lit, and replace any burnt bulbs prior to Halloween. Ensure pets are secured so that they will not attack or frighten anyone.
Motorists are encouraged to keep travel to a minimum on Halloween night due to a high number of pedestrians on neighborhood streets. “If you must be on the road, please drive slowly and be alert for children, especially in residential areas,” said Sheriff Webre. “You should also eliminate all distractions while driving in neighborhoods so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.”
For the sixth straight year, deputies will also be conducting compliance checks for sex offenders on Halloween night. Sex offenders are restricted from wearing masks or handing out candy or gifts on a holiday such as Halloween. Deputies, therefore, will visit sex offenders in Lafourche Parish to ensure they are complying with the terms of their sentences.