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Notes from the Chief – 10-24-2012

by Chief Pete Gehring

Are you ready for Halloween? It is very soon upon us. Wednesday, October 31st is Halloween. I look forward to all the princesses, witches, goblins and ghouls. The Village of Colfax recognizes the hours of 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. as the official Trick-or-Treat time.

We also feel that the main theme of this night is having a good time while maintaining a high level of safety for all participants. There is always danger in after dark activity, but increasing the number of young people on the streets and the higher volume of vehicle traffic getting from one place to the other, is a recipe for trouble. Every one, children and drivers alike need to be on a high level of alert. This year the State of Wisconsin is again enforcing the laws enacted to prevent registered sex offenders from being involved in Halloween. They are not allowed to have a porch light on or to greet children. The Colfax Police will be monitoring those houses to ensure compliance. If you are aware of any violation of this, please notify the Colfax Police department. A porch light on has always been the universal signal the household will accept and greet Trick-or-Treat visitors. It is also a signal of where not to go if there is no light on. Please make sure all young people in your household who participate in this event are aware of this. All of us together, homeowners, parents and goblins need to work together to make this a safe and fun occasion. We need to make our yards and sidewalks safe for people to walk on in the dark. We need to make our decorations safe for young visitors. We need to control our pets and animals who may not understand the weirdly dressed visitors and activities. If we have lighted pumpkins we need to be sure the flame cannot come in contact with costumes. If we have live greeters near the door, we need to remember that the very young may be too frightened by sudden movement or screams. Save that for the older participants. We also need to be very cautious while driving our motor vehicles about Colfax. Make sure the children’s costumes allows them to see clearly and to be seen clearly. When out between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., the younger children are encouraged to go early to avoid the darker hours. Being accompanied by an older family member can make this a fun family event. Homeowners are asked to serve treats that area safe.

Each year we hear of accidents that occur the night of Halloween. Please consider these safety tips before starting the night.

• Wear white or light colored clothing and costumes. Reflective if possible;

• Carry a flashlight or light stick for visibility;

• NEVER eat anything until it can be checked by an adult;

• Travel in lighted areas and use the sidewalks if possible;

• Travel in groups and preferably with an adult;

• Have a planned route so someone knows where you are;

• NEVER go into a strangers house;

• Never cross a street in midblock, use the crosswalks;

Remember that “Tricks” may be a crime you have to pay for. If there is a problem with vandalism, call the police. Don’t take matters into your own hands. No “Bones” about it, a safe Halloween is more fun.