Police: Be careful out there tonight

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2008

VIDALIA — When little ghouls, goblins and Hannah Montanas head to the streets in search of cellophane-wrapped happiness tonight, local officials want them to be safe.

Vidalia Police Chief Ronnie G. “Tapper” Hendricks advised parents to make sure their children wear proper reflective clothing or wear glow sticks around their necks, wrists or bags.

“I know the children are going to have on costumes, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put some kind of reflective tape on there,” Hendricks said.

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Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins also advised having a flashlight and keeping a close eye on children when walking through neighborhoods.

“Please don’t let the children run down the street without an adult,” he said.

“We have been fortunate not to have any accidents in years past, and we wouldn’t want to change that.”

It is also a good idea to inspect children’s candy when they get home, and Hendricks advised throwing away any candy that looks like it has been tampered with.

“I don’t care if it’s your favorite snack — when in doubt, throw it away,” he said.

In Natchez, there are no designated trick-or-treating hours, but Mullins said he recommends that everyone get their door-to-door candy hunting done between 5 p.m. and dark.

“It’s not illegal to be out after that, but we recommend that you wrap up by then,” Mullins said.

Ferriday Police Chief Kenneth Hedrick said he would like everyone to do their trick-or-treating between the hours of 5:30 and 9 p.m.

“We don’t have set hours, but we will shut it down about then,” he said. “We are definitely going to have extra patrols.”

In Vidalia, however, there are designated hours for the candy hoppers — between 6 and 9 p.m.

But those who fudge the hours a little aren’t likely to get into a lot of trouble.

“If they are juveniles, we are going to see that they have adult supervision and see that they get home safely,” Hendricks said.

The Vidalia Police also plan to have a lot of officers out on Halloween night, especially around planned events — such as a church hayride — to ensure safety, he said.

“That’s our goal — to provide a safe Halloween for the kids,” Hendricks said.