Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced the annual Blue Light Special patrol will be altered so that deputies will remain on patrol on Halloween night as long as necessary to ensure the safety of residents. On Friday, October 31, every deputy assigned a Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office vehicle will patrol the streets of local neighborhoods with emergency lights activated to ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters, and to remind motorists to drive slowly and exercise extreme caution as children take to the streets.
Traditionally, the Blue Light Special had taken place between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., but Sheriff Webre said the time frame for trick-or-treating varies in each neighborhood and can be affected by the day of the week in which Halloween falls each year.
“In the past couple of years, deputies noticed trick-or-treating was in full-swing in many areas by the time the Blue Light Special patrol began,” said Sheriff Webre. “We also had several neighborhoods where deputies continued patrolling for a while after 8 p.m. due to the large number of children still walking the neighborhoods.”
“The purpose of the Blue Light Special patrol is so that children and parents alike can feel safe and secure,” continued Sheriff Webre. “By moving to a less rigid time schedule for the special patrol, we are ensuring our area families can have a safe and fun Halloween experience, and doing so in a more efficient manner.”
For the fourth straight year, the Blue Light Special will also feature a compliance check for sex offenders. Sex offenders are restricted from wearing masks or handing out candy or gifts on a holiday such as Halloween. Deputies, therefore, will visit sex offenders in Lafourche Parish to ensure they are complying with their sentences.
Sheriff Webre said the Blue Light Special is designed to offer “peace of mind” to parents and guardians during trick-or-treating. Still, Sheriff Webre encourages parents to take their own precautions when it comes to children and trick-or-treating:
- COSTUMES: Plan costumes that are bright and reflective, and secure emergency contact information somewhere inside the child’s costume or on a bracelet. Make sure costumes fit well to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame, and only use costumes and accessories that are flame resistant. Avoid allowing children to carry fake guns, swords and knives, and if used, be certain they are soft, flexible, and do NOT appear to be authentic. Consider using makeup instead of masks which can limit or block eyesight.
- TRICK-OR-TREATING: A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children, and always stay in a group to ensure no child is walking alone. If older children are going alone, plan and review an acceptable route, and agree on a specific time when they should return home. Only go to homes with which you are familiar, and never enter a home or car for a treat. Always use a sidewalk instead of the roadway, but when no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway being mindful of passing vehicles. Ensure all children know how to call 911 if they have an emergency, become lost or witness any suspicious activity. DO NOT allow children to consume treats until inspected by an adult.
- SAFETY AT HOME: To ensure your home is safe for trick-or-treaters, clear front porches and yards of anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations. Check outdoor lights, and replace any burned-out bulbs.