Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced deputies will conduct the annual Blue Light Special patrol on Halloween in order to help keep trick-or-treaters safe. More than 100 deputies will patrol the streets of Lafourche Parish neighborhoods beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 31. This patrol will continue until at least 8:30 p.m. during the peak hours of trick-or-treating. Deputies will patrol with emergency lights activated to remind motorists to drive slowly and exercise extreme caution as children take to the streets.
“In what has become our annual tradition, every deputy assigned a vehicle will fan out across the parish to ensure a safe night for trick-or-treaters,” said Sheriff Webre. Adults are encouraged to keep a close watch for all children and report any incidents or suspicious activity to a nearby deputy or by calling us directly.”
Sheriff Webre offers these Halloween safety tips:
- Make your child’s costume distinguishable and safe. Ensure your child can easily walk in the costume and that the fabric is flame retardant. Use glow bracelets/sticks, reflective tape, and flashlights. With store-bought costumes, change or add something to make your child distinguishable from others.
- Maintain proper supervision for your children. We strongly urge parents to supervise their own children. If you must entrust your child to another adult, obtain 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. Carry a standard flashlight instead of draining your smartphone battery by attempting to use the built-in light.
- Inspect all treats collected. Discard anything that is not sealed, has torn packaging, looks questionable, or could 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. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
Residents are encouraged to 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. Secure pets 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. Those who must be on the roads are encouraged to drive cautiously and be alert for children, especially in residential areas. “While it’s always a best practice to eliminate all driving distractions such as smartphones or the radio, we encourage drivers to pay special attention to their driving on Halloween night with so many children present,” said Sheriff Webre. “Children are excited and may move in unpredictable ways.”
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 will visit sex offenders in Lafourche Parish to verify they are complying with the terms of their sentences.