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Notes from the Chief – 10-30-2013

by Chief Pete Gehring

Are you ready for Halloween? It is very soon upon us. And it is not just for kids anymore. It is a shame that the scariest part of Halloween is not the costumes, but the bad things that happen all around our country on this day.


Thursday October 31st is Halloween and will be recognized as such in the Village of Colfax. I look forward to all the zombies, ninja’s and cartoon characters that will be walking the streets. The Village 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 the night is having a good, safe time, while maintaining a high level of security for all the participants. There is always danger in after dark activities, but increasing the number of young people on the streets and the higher volume of traffic getting from one place to another, is a recipe for trouble. Everyone, children, chaperones and drivers need to be on a high level of alert.

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. If you have any question, we have a complete list available at the Colfax Police department. The Colfax Police will be monitoring these residences for compliance. If you are aware of any violations, please notify us. A porch light on has always been the universal signal the household will accept and greet a Trick-or-Treater. It is also a signal of where not to go if the porch light is not on. All of us together, homeowners, parents, and children needs to work together to make this a smart and safe event. Homeowners need to make their yards and sidewalks safe for visitors. We need to make sure our decorations are safe and not flammable. We need to control our pets and animals who may not understand the weirdly dressed visitors and the activity. We need to be extra cautious when driving our vehicles in areas of youthful activity. Homeowners are asked to serve treats that are safe, and children, not eat anything until it is checked by an adult.

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

• Wear white or light colored costumes. Reflective if possible.

• Carry a flashlight or light stick for visibility.

• Travel in lighted areas and use sidewalks.

• Travel in groups and preferable with an adult.

• NEVER go into a strangers house.

• Have a planned route and tell someone where you are at.

• Never cross a street in mid block, use the crosswalk.

No “Bones” about it, a safe Halloween is more fun. Make it a family event.