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News Review
Have a Safe Halloween from San Francisco Police Department
Posted Date: 10/30/2013
As you know, Halloween is fun for kids & adults alike. It is also one of the busiest nights for police officers. SFPD will be out in full force to help everyone enjoy a great Halloween. As a father of two kids, when I’m not working, I will be on trick-or-treat duty. Below are a list of ways to practice a safe Halloween I have picked up over the years and others recommended from the National Safety Council:

PARENTS:
• Children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult.
• Know which route your kids will take, have an pre-determined return time, and have them carry a phone.
• Kids should have all treats looked at in good lighting at home before they consume candy.
• Carry a flashlight.
• If going to a crowded event, write your child’s name, your cell phone number/name, & address on their arm with safe ink. Tell them to go to a police/fire/EMT if they get lost.
• Children should be told to only go to well lit homes, preferable in a neighborhood they know.
• Don’t go into any stranger’s house or enter fenced areas where they might run into a dog.
• Walk, not run from house to house.
• Always use sidewalk and look out for cars.

COSTUMES:
• Make sure the costumes fit your kids so they don’t trip and can see out clearly.
• Use reflective material and if the custom is dark, most bike shops carry reflective bands.
• When buying Halloween make-up. Make sure it’s non-toxic and will not have a bad reaction (Laboratory tested / safe color additives help control quality).
• Fake firearms, knifes, other weapons are not a good idea as accessories for your costume. It is very hard for officers to tell what is real and not real.

DRIVERS:
• Drive slowly and look out for extra pedestrian traffic.
• Don’t drink and drive. Get a cab app. for your phone or have a designated driver.
• Driveways are extra dangerous, back-out/enter with extra caution.
• Even better, bike to where you have to go, because most likely the parking in most retail/business districts will be scarce.

GENERAL CRIME PREVENTION:
• Know your environment and keep your head up.
• Put that phone away! Yes, surfing the web is fun, but it also makes you a target. iPhones/Smartphones are the #1 stolen item in San Francisco!
• Walk in well lit areas that are well travelled.
• If you are confronted, don’t resist. Try to remember face/hair, clothing, weapon, and direction they ran or vehicle they used.
• When calling 911 try to be calm and give as much information the dispatcher needs to get police to your area. Remember dispatchers have to enter information on the screen in a certain sequence to units can get to the area quickly, try not to get frustrated.

Wishing you all a wonderful Halloween!

Raj Vaswani
Police Lieutenant
Mission Community Liaison
www.sf-police.org