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Operation Pumpkin Patrol volunteers sought

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Members of the 66th Security Forces Squadron will once again participate in “Pumpkin Patrol” while children trick or treat Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. here.

Pumpkin Patrol is an SFS initiative that ensures the safety and security for those enjoying Halloween in base housing.

SFS personnel, along with Pumpkin Patrol volunteers, will walk on foot while wearing reflective vests to be easily recognizable. Military volunteers are asked to wear their uniform.

Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to contact Police Services at 781-225-5605.

In addition, SFS officials ask parents to speak with children about Halloween safety while trick-or-treating. A factor to consider is the use of sidewalks. SFS officials encourage children to cross only at crosswalks and never dart into the roadway from between parked cars. Also, children should only trick-or-treat on one side of the street at a time.

SFS personnel recommend motorists pay extra attention while children are trick-or-treating. Vehicle operators should watch for children in dark clothing/costumes once the sun sets and be cautious while entering and exiting driveways.

From costumes to candy, below are some additional tips individuals should consider this Halloween:

- Use "flame retardant” labeled Halloween costumes.
- Reduce the length of trailing material or tails to prevent tripping hazards.
- If a mask is worn, ensure there is proper ventilation for breathing and visibility for sight.
- Prop weapons, such as a scythe, plastic butcher knife or pitchfork, should have smooth tips and be flexible enough to avoid injury.
- Firearm props must be identifiable as a toy, and at the very least, firearm props must have an orange tip.
- Children are encouraged to carry a flashlight, glow stick or wear something brightly colored.
- Trick-or-treaters should always be with an adult.
- For younger children, try pinning a slip of paper with the child's name, address and phone number inside a pocket.
- Parents are encouraged to plan their child’s route and set a meeting place in case a child gets lost.
- Plan and discuss the route and return time for older children going out unsupervised.

For more information, or to volunteer for Pumpkin Patrol, please contact Police Services at 781-225-5605 or email ira.sollace@us.af.mil.

As always, members of the Hanscom community are encouraged to report any suspicious activity to Pumpkin Patrol participants, the Law Enforcement Desk at 781-225-5000 or the Crime Stop Hotline at 781-225-6920.