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0 "Safety Tips and Happy Halloween, 2016" from Tim Jayroe, Chief of Police, Rockport Police Department

Halloween is only three weeks away and, as always, your police department, along with your schools, churches, social organizations, and all parents are concerned for the safety of our young people. The standard safety practices still apply, wear bright colored and reflective costumes, cross streets at intersections (especially outside residential areas), parents accompany kids under 12, know where your kids are going and what time they will be home, check all the treats they bring home to see that they have not been tampered with, and report suspicious activities, people, or collected goods to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

In addition to the regular recommendations above it is important for parents to recognize that the world has changed significantly since they were in grade school and it is a much more dangerous environment for our kids. The recent number of incidents involving individuals in clown costumes committing vandalism, assault, and other threatening conduct around the country has resulted in a growing fear of people in clown suits and multiple calls to law enforcement all around the country. The concern we have for the safety of our kids, and for the public in general, should be based on conduct rather than a particular costume. When the conduct of any person you see is such that it creates a real concern for your safety or that of the public in general it should be reported to law enforcement. Legitimate concerns for the safety and security of the public and public or private property should always be reported and are never a bother or inconvenience to your law enforcement agencies. This is vital to the maintenance of the safety and quality of life we expect in our community both at Halloween and every day of the year.

I hope our kids and grandkids have as much fun this Halloween as any of us did when we were kids. It is up to us as parents, grandparents, good citizens, and especially law enforcement officers to make this a reality.

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