Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph –
One of the most enjoyable times of the year is Halloween - when children of all ages assume fanciful identities and attend parties or invade their neighborhoods looking for tasty treats.
It's also a time when safety is of utmost importance - for trick-or-treaters themselves and for the motorists who are traveling the neighborhoods where children are walking from house to house.
At Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, the 902nd Security Forces Squadron will offer a greater measure of safety for trick-or-treaters - and a greater sense of security for their parents - with its Pumpkin Patrol from 6-8 p.m. Friday.
"Members of the security forces and volunteers will provide mobile and foot patrols to JBSA-Randolph's housing areas," Staff Sgt. Larry Holmes, 902nd SFS NCO in charge of police services, said. "We'll be predominantly responsible for traffic control and making sure people don't wander into areas where they shouldn't be."
Holmes said there are safety rules trick-or-treaters and motorists should follow, no matter where they are on this special autumn day.
"Trick-or-treaters should be aware of the traffic on the streets and make sure they're illuminated in some way so people can see them when it's dark," he said. "Children should always be accompanied by adults and all trick-or-treaters should travel in groups."
Holmes recommended that motorists "be on the defensive."
"If you're going through a residential area, be aware there will be kids out," he said. "Slow down and be aware of your surroundings and always have your lights on so you can be seen, too."
Holmes also said motorists should avoid travel in residential areas unless they're traveling to or from their own neighborhoods.
Once their children are home, parents should examine their treats and make sure there are no choking hazards and nothing has been tampered with, he said.
Additional safety tips for trick-or-treaters, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include looking both ways before crossing the street, using crosswalks wherever possible; walking on sidewalks when possible or on the far edge of the road facing traffic; only visiting well-lit homes; and never accepting rides from strangers.
An alternative to trick-or-treating at JBSA-Randolph is Youth Programs' Fall Hi-Jinx, set for 6-8 p.m. Friday in building 585.
"Fall Hi-Jinx came about after Sept. 11," Andrea Black, Youth Programs coordinator, said. "Youth Programs wanted to provide a safe and fun alternative to trick or treating.
Hi-Jinx is a free family event; we provide the fun and treats."
A variety of carnival games are planned, from the Ping Pong Plunge, Witch Pitch and Penny Pumpkin Pitch to the Caribbean Coin Crash, Feed the Monster and Silly Spider Toss.