Staying safe on Halloween

Cranbury police weigh in on safety for holiday

By: Lacey Korevec
   Silver bullets and wooden stakes may keep trick-or-treaters safe from vampires and werewolves, but if kids want to stay truly safe on Halloween, then there are a few rules they’ll have to follow.
   When kids dressed as witches, ghosts and other characters are roaming Cranbury streets in search of candy Tuesday night, safety should be a priority, Police Chief Jay Hansen said.
   "It’s a truly wonderful holiday that should be enjoyed by both young and old alike," he said in a statement he e-mailed to the Cranbury Press. "But there’s a safety aspect of Halloween, which must be addressed."
   Chief Hansen recommended that parents or guardians check all of the candy before children eat it.
   "Sometimes people will put objects in the candy that can be detrimental, such as pins," he said. "It could be tainted in some way. Parents can check to be sure that the packaging and wrapping is secured and that here’s no indication that it’s been tampered with."
   It’s also important that kids not wear costumes or masks that hinder their vision when crossing streets and that parents or guardians accompany children throughout the afternoon.
   "Often times they will have a tendency to run out into the street and into traffic, whereas an adult can make sure they restrained from doing that," he said.
   He also said kids should be cautious while walking and try to avoid slippery leaves and rough sidewalks.
   To ensure a good night for everyone in the community, Chief Hansen said the township will be enforcing a few rules.
   Trick-or-treating must end at 9 p.m., he said, adding that many people get ready for bed at that time.
   Halloween is not a time for destroying other people’s property, he said. To avoid any problems, extra police officers will be on patrol and will confiscate any eggs, rocks, tomatoes, paint aerosol or spray cans and any other device used for spraying or squirting.
   Any youngsters found with these items in their possession will be sent home for the night, he said. Youngsters caught using the items to vandalize public or private property will be arrested and prosecuted, he said.
   "Anyone who writes, paints or scratches obscene or profane words on any public or private buildings, homes, walls windows, etc., will be subject to arrest and prosecution."
   Chief Hansen said he urges parents to keep their children home on Monday, the night before Halloween, which is commonly referred to as Mischief Night. Kids found walking the streets of Cranbury that night will either be sent home or transported to police headquarters, he said, adding that patrolling officers will have zero tolerance that night.
   "Parent, we ask for your help in seeing that your children do not go out the night of the 30th unless it’s absolutely necessary," he said in the statement.
   He said Cranbury parents and children have cooperated 100 percent in past years, making the holiday enjoyable for everyone.
   "Both the parents and the kids have been great," he said. "Happy Halloween!"