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Date: 10/30/2014

A Halloween Safety Message from Sheriff Williams 

  A bat with a line beside it used as a decorative header.

Three smiling cartoon jack o lanterns.

Halloween can be exciting for children and adults. Halloween Parties, Trick or Treating, Fall Festivals and Haunted Houses are all enjoyable.  However, I want to remind you to not let your guard down when it comes to safety. Halloween is one of my favorite times of year but it also raises my concern for your safety.  

Trick or Treating for example.   We all think about the obvious: check the candy before eating, carry a flashlight, wear reflective or bright colors, don't accept rides from stranger, etc. Yes, these are correct and we should follow them, but there is more to overall safety than just these precautions.    

First, you should call the Sheriff's Department immediately if you see anything that seems out of the ordinary. Be a neighbor who walks with others in the neighborhood watching out for suspicious activity.  Be a neighbor who turns on their outside lights on Halloween and every night of the year.  Be a neighbor  that takes the lead in starting a crime watch and to get to know your neighbors.  

Second, even if you don't have children trick or treating you can contribute to the safety of your neighborhood by being visible and an extra eyes and ears for law enforcement. You can be the citizen who talks with neighbors about Halloween safety. For example, teach children to stay on driveways and sidewalks. Set time limits on trick or treating and designate specific routes. Do not take your children to unfamiliar neighborhoods. 

Thirdly, I want to remind motorists to strive for the safe operation of their vehicle;  WATCH THAT CHILD and SLOW DOWN. If you are driving children around a neighborhood have them exit and re-enter the vehicle only at the curbside. If you are the driver, refrain from wearing a mask or costume that could obscure your vision and make sure you put the car in park before people exit and enter the vehicle.  

Finally, if you participate in Halloween activities or adult parties please designate a driver.  The Marion County Sheriff's Department will be out providing patrols for the communities, in an attempt to deter crime associated with Halloween.  Please call the Marion County Sheriff's Department at 205-921-7433 to report any suspicious activity that needs checked out.

Halloween Safety Tips


  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic laws.
  • Exercise extreme caution when driving a vehicle. Be on the alert for excited youngsters darting out in traffic whose vision may be obscured by masks.
  • Enter and exit driveways with caution.
  • If you are driving children around the neighborhood, make sure they enter and exit the car on the curbside.
  • Drivers should not wear a mask or a costume that makes it difficult to move your arms and legs while driving.
  • Designate a driver for "adult parties".

Parents and Children:

  • Report any suspicious or criminal activity to the Sheriff's Department immediately.
  • Use costumes with light or bright colored material and trim.
  • Check to see that the costume does not interfere with walking.
  • Encourage children to use face paint and/or make-up rather than hoods, wigs or masks that can block vision.
  • Teach children not to cut across yards. Clotheslines and yard ornaments are invisible in the dark.
  • Do not accept rides from strangers.
  • Check all treats before the children eat the candy and other Halloween goodies. Discard any homemade or unwrapped treats.
  • Restrict Trick or Treat visits to homes with porch or outside lights on.
  • Don't go into homes. 
  • Give children a flashlight and fresh batteries so they can see and be seen.
  • Children should Trick or Treat in groups, NEVER alone. An adult should accompany children.
  • Set a time limit for your children to Trick or Treat. Designate a specific route for them to take.

Children should obey all pedestrian safety laws: never run into the street, look left, right then left again before entering the street traffic. Cross only at street corners and never between parked cars.

Candy corn.