By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
Wednesday night, most Tupelo children will seek out and consume more candy than any other day this year, and the Tupelo Police Department wants to help keep them safe. Katarsha White, sergeant of the community-oriented policing division, answered questions from the Daily Journal’s JB Clark about staying safe while trick-or-treating.
Q: How can parents and children stay safe from traffic and from any Halloween mischief this year; and when is the best time to trick-or-treat?
A: We are encouraging all children to be accompanied by a responsible adult while out. Some safety precautions while trick-or-treating would be to cross the street only at corners, carry a flashlight or glowstick, walk facing oncoming traffic if there is no sidewalk, wear costumes that are light and bright so they clearly are visible for motorists and for children to refrain from eating candy and other treats before it has been checked by their parents or guardians. Ideally, the best time to trick-or-treat would be before it gets dark. Since it gets darker sooner, usually a good time is between 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Q: What are some points of etiquette trick-or-treaters and their parents should remember when heading out into the neighborhoods of Tupelo?
A: Parents and the trick-or-treaters should visit residents with whom they are familiar. We are encouraging residents also to turn on their outside light(s) acknowledging they are participating with the festivities. We are advising those who are thinking about rolling yards, vandalizing or causing property damage, those pranks or things they consider being fun, they are involving themselves in a criminal offense, malicious mischief. Should homeowners decide to proceed with filing charges, they can be prosecuted.
Q: Will the Police Department be adding patrols or concentrating more on residential areas during trick-or-treating?
A: The department will have added patrols, including our reserve division, detectives, school resource officers and others, throughout the city to try to ensure the safety of the citizens as well as those that will be visiting the “All America City.” With the recent annexation, those areas will be patrolled as well. And don’t be surprised if you should see our chief of police, Tony Carleton, patrolling also.