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Police ready to protect little goblins

Though some municipalities already have observed Halloween, tonight is the official trick-or-treat.

By BRADY DENNIS

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 31, 2000


Police in four local municipalities are reminding parents and children that while Dade City and Zephyrhills held Halloween celebrations Saturday evening, they will stick to the calendar and officially recognize tonight as the time for trick-or-treaters to go door to door.

Police in Dade City, Zephyrhills, San Antonio and Saint Leo will have extra officers patrolling the streets from about 6 to 9 p.m. to look out for children who are patrolling for candy.

"We'll have some extra people out there to make sure the kids are safe and to keep an eye on traffic," said Capt. David Duff of the Dade City Police Department.

Duff said that in the past, police have often tried to hold the trick-or-treating on a weekend night but decided against that this year because it could confuse both parents and their costumed offspring.

Duff said that police in each town don't anticipate problems, but the patrols are just a precautionary measure.

"We're not looking for any specific trouble," he said. "I've been here 18 years and I can't remember anything bad happening. We just want the kids to have a good time."

Halloween tips

Here are some Halloween safety tips from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office:

Younger children should be supervised by adults.

Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten. If your children cannot wait that long, give them a snack to carry.

Parents of older children should know the route their children are taking and who their companions are.

Set a time for children to be home.

Trick-or-treat within your own neighborhood. Do not call on houses of strangers or houses where the outside lights are not on.

Never go inside a house.

Watch for vehicle and bicycle traffic.

Wear light-colored clothing that's short enough to prevent tripping. Add reflective tape to costumes.

Only give and accept wrapped or packaged candy.

Be careful of dogs and other pets.

If a costume requires carrying an imitation weapon, make sure that it is made of cardboard or foam rubber.

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