Middle Georgia police and deputies urge trick-or-treaters and treat givers to keep safety in mind during Thursdays Halloween festivities.
While patrol cars will be cruising through neighborhoods, with higher visibility in some areas, there are plenty of things parents and children can do to ensure that the night is safe and crime-free.
Macon police Lt. Ellis Sinclair said parents shouldnt allow children to carry realistic toy weapons as they make their door-to-door rounds.
The toys might be mistaken for a real-life counterpart and could alarm someone, Sinclair said.
People staying home to hand out goodies also should take care when answering the door.
If an adult comes to the door trick-or-treating and theres no children there, ... we want them not to open the door, Sinclair said.
Instead, residents are encouraged to call the police immediately, because adults might be using a night when many people are disguised in costumes as an opportunity to rob or otherwise take advantage of someone, he said.
While there is no official time for trick-or-treating in Macon and Bibb County, Macon police suggest that festivities run from 5:30-9 p.m., since Friday is a school day, according to a news release.
Trick-or-treating in Warner Robins will be held from 6-8 p.m.
Police and deputies urge adults or responsible older siblings to accompany children as they set out to collect candy.
Parents should know which neighborhoods children will be visiting, said Tabitha Pugh, the Warner Robins police spokeswoman.
In past years, Warner Robins police have received calls from parents saying their children went out trick-or-treating, but had not returned home when expected.
When police ask where the children went, sometimes they dont know. They just say around the neighborhood, Pugh said. Make sure you know exactly where theyre going so if there is a problem or an emergency we know where to locate the child.
Bibb County sheriffs Lt. Sean DeFoe said parents who arent accompanying their children should send them with a cellphone so trick-or-treaters can place a call in case of emergency and so parents can stay in touch.
DeFoe said Bibb deputies will be staffing the countys south and east sub-stations Halloween night and will be prepared for any trick-or-treaters who stop by.
Houston County sheriffs Lt. Ronnie Harlowe said parents should think ahead and put some type of reflective material on childrens costumes or have them carry flashlights so theyre more visible to motorists.
Houston deputies will be concentrating their patrol efforts in subdivisions during prime trick-or-treating hours, he said.
In Monroe County, deputies will be at the county courthouse in Forsyth from 6-8 p.m. and will allow childrens candy to be passed through the x-ray and metal detector machines, said Allison Selman-Willis, the sheriffs office spokeswoman.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.