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Sgt. Gene Petrella (856)785-0036

October 27, 2009

State Troopers Ready for Halloween Weekend

Port Norris, Cumberland County, New Jersey – The New Jersey State Police in Port Norris Station will continue their highly effective "mischief night" and Halloween patrols in the towns they serve. This is a proactive move to combat the higher number of calls that were typically seen on these nights. Last year, the Port Norris Station personnel designed a plan that put extra troopers in the areas where trouble had historically popped up. That strategy proved to be very effective.

"We used to get a lot of calls for mischief and vandalism on those two nights. Last year, with the promotion of this detail in local schools and the extra troopers in the communities, we only had two calls," said Sgt. First Class Tony Tonelli, Assistant Station Commander.

This year, Port Norris Station will again deploy extra patrols on both days that include troopers on bicycles, and in marked and unmarked patrol vehicles. Again, the troopers will reach out to the school systems to get the word out about Halloween safety. Furthermore, all town curfews and trick-or-treating hours will be strictly enforced. Through these efforts, the State Police in Port Norris Station are hoping to see a fun and safe Halloween weekend.

Below are some helpful safety tips:

  • Consider using make-up rather than masks. Masks may obstruct a child's vision making it difficult for them to see oncoming traffic.
  • Wear light-colored clothing or add reflective tape to darker costumes. Always carry a flashlight at night. Inexpensive battery-operated strobe lights are now sold in many drug stores and convenience stores.
  • An adult should always accompany children when they are out trick-or-treating. Older teens should travel in groups for their safety.
  • Make sure trick-or-treaters know to only approach familiar houses that have outside lights on and never to enter a stranger's house or vehicle.
  • The best advice: Trick-or-treat in daylight hours.
  • Stay alert at all times for young children who may dart in front of your vehicle unexpectedly. In the excitement of the day, trick-or-treaters probably won't be paying attention to passing motor vehicles, so slow down and drive cautiously.
  • If you attend a Halloween party where alcohol is served, make sure you have a designated driver for the trip home. Alcohol, even in small amounts, slows reaction time and dulls the senses. With small children running from house to house, driving while under the influence can have a deadly result.
  • If you are transporting trick-or-treaters, remember that seat belt laws are not a burden, but a proven lifesaving measure. Costume or not, buckle up!
  • Consider handing out something other than candy—fast food coupons, pens, sports cards.
  • All opened candy should be thrown out.
  • Make your own trick-or-treaters wait until they return home, and you have examined their goodies, before they sample any treats.
  • It is sad to think people may tamper with food and candy given to children, but better safe than sorry.

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