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Pumpkin Patrol keeps children safe this Halloween

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – 66th Security Forces Squadron personnel along with volunteers will participate in Pumpkin Patrol while children trick-or-treat Oct. 31 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Pumpkin Patrol is an SFS initiative that ensures the safety and security of those enjoying Halloween on base.

Those who would like to volunteer should contact Police Services at 781-225-5605.

SFS personnel, along with Pumpkin Patrol volunteers, will patrol on foot while wearing reflective vests to be easily recognizable.

Security forces personnel recommend crossing the street only at crosswalks and reminding children to never dart into the roadway from between parked cars. In addition, children should only trick-or-treat on one side of the street at a time in order to remain safe.

The use of flashlights, reflective gear, glow sticks and any other item that will allow a child to be visible by motorists is encouraged by Pumpkin Patrol organizers.

Motorists are also encouraged to pay extra attention while children are trick-or-treating. Vehicle operators should watch for goblins in dark clothing or costumes once the sun sets and be cautious while entering and exiting driveways.

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

- Use "flame retardant” labeled Halloween costumes.
- Reduce the length of trailing material or tails to prevent tripping hazards.
- When wearing a mask, 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.
- 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 a contact 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.
- Inspect every piece candy received on Halloween prior to consumption. Ensure all candy is in its original sealed package and untampered.

For more information, 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.