Mt. Juliet, Tenn. – Additional Mt. Juliet police officers will report for duty to patrol neighborhoods with the potential of many engaged in Halloween-related activities. While it is not clear what level of participation the community will experience, officers will do their part to ensure a safe, enjoyable Halloween for all.
Parents should be prepared and mindful of their child’s safety by following safety precautions– especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC recently published guidance to address trick-or-treating concerns for locations where COVID-19 cases are low and residents plan to participate. Standard guidance of proper social distancing, disinfecting hands often, and wearing a mask is very important and recommended. Those who are sick should not participate.
Safer trick-or-treating alternatives include:
- Providing individually wrapped grab-n-go candy bags
- Setting up outdoors, on the lawn or end of the driveway
- Wear a cloth mask (Halloween-themed!)
- Maintain physical distance from other groups, be patient!
- Carry hand sanitizer and use it often
CDC Guidance for Halloween Activities: CDC Halloween Guidance
For those who plan to participate in trick-or-treating activities, the department recommends doing so on Saturday, October 31, 2020, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Through the afternoon and night, patrol staff levels and presence in neighborhoods will be increased. However, police need residents’ help to ensure Mt. Juliet’s streets can be as safe as possible. Any unsafe mischief or driving behavior should be reported to the police department immediately so it can be stopped. Also, police will be monitoring parking on city streets. Visitors and residents should be mindful of where they park, so the roadway is not blocked.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children are twice more likely to be in a fatal pedestrian accident on Halloween than any other day of the year. Parents should make sure their child’s costume is visible at night to motorists. There are several reasons why children are more likely to be hurt in pedestrian accidents, which include:
- They often choose to take the shortest route, which may mean darting out between parked cars then take the safer way of crossing at corners.
- They’re poor at evaluating potential traffic threats.
- They’re more likely to disregard their peripheral vision and are less attentive to their street surroundings.
- They tend to believe they’re indestructible and are more likely to take risks.
- They need to be told that some people driving cars will not slow down for them.
- They can’t cross streets as rapidly as adults.
- They may be distracted by other children’s costumes, behaviors, and home decorations.
Also, officers will be out monitoring sex offenders on Halloween. Under Tennessee law, any sex offender on parole or probation may not participate in any Halloween activity involving children. This activity would include leaving a porch light on, answering the door, or distributing candy. Parents may use the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s website at http://www.tbi.tn.gov/.
Reflective bracelets are available, now and through Halloween, at police headquarters from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday.
In addition to people taking precautions due to the ongoing pandemic, the department wants to remind everyone of the following Halloween Health and Safety Tips: http://www.safekids.org/halloween.