With thousands of little ghosts and goblins taking to area streets and in neighborhoods this Monday for the Halloween observance, area law enforcement authorities are urging caution when driving between the hours of 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Monday.
"Slow down and be alert in residential neighborhoods," Southaven Police Lt. Mark Little said Friday. "Children may move in unpredictable ways. Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Trick or treat with adults or in groups."
Little said trick-or-treaters should also cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Children should put up electronic devices and "keep their heads up when walking," according to Little.
Little also said that trick-or-treaters should also walk on sidewalks or clearly-marked paths if available.
"They should watch for cars that are turning or backing up," Little said.
Costumes should be brightly-colored or have reflective tape on them.
"Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers," said Little.
Meanwhile, deputies with the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department will be handing out "gummy bears" to children and youth throughout the Halloween weekend which ends Monday evening.
"We had some gummy fruit snacks which were donated to us, so we decided to distribute them among our patrol deputies to give out to children in the area," Deputy Alex Coker said. "We'll be distributing them throughout the county. If you see a deputy, flag them down and they'll give you a gummy snack."
Area schools and churches also planned alternative Halloween and fall festival events, with Northpoint Christian School staging its popular "Trunk Or Treat" activity in the school parking lot at 7400 Getwell Road in Southaven today.
On Monday, the Southaven Police Explorers will stage their popular "Halloween Haunted House" at the Southaven Police headquarters from 5:30 until 8 p.m. The Southaven VIP group will be handing out bags of candy to trick-or-treaters.
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at email@example.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.