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Kids to be treated to extra security

Published Oct. 31, 2002|Updated Sep. 4, 2005

Area law enforcement agencies are boosting security tonight to help make Halloween safe for trick or treaters.

Extra deputies from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office will be combing the streets in marked and unmarked cars, in a helicopter and on bicycles.

The hours of increased patrolling will be 5-11 p.m.

The Port Richey Police Department took the extra step of planning an alternative event to keep kids off the streets. Lt. Bill Sager said the police and fire departments are putting on a haunted house with a live band, music and food. It's from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Custom Commerce Center at Ridge Road and Congress Street.

Port Richey and New Port Richey police plan to have extra patrols on the streets as well.

Dade City Police Capt. David Duff said his department will be saturating residential areas with extra patrols. He said seven officers will be on the streets tonight.

But Zephyrhills will have its normal force on duty for a Thursday night _ four officers and the police dog. Sgt. Randy Belasic said Halloween does not typically mean increased crime.

"Usually with the parents out with the kids we don't have any problems," Belasic said. The Sheriff's Office also is encouraging neighborhood crime watch groups to increase their activity tonight.

Halloween safety tips

Young children should be supervised by adults.

Parents of older children should know the route their children are taking and who their companions are.

Set a time for children to be home.

Stay within your own neighborhood

Do not call on houses of strangers or houses where the outside lights are off.

Never go inside a house.

Stay alert _ watch for vehicle and bicycle traffic.

Be careful if wearing a wig _ they block vision and may catch fire if worn near an open flame.

Carry a flashlight.

Wear light-colored clothing and add reflective tape.

Makeup is safer than a mask, which blocks vision.

Wear regular shoes instead of high heels or oversized shoes.

If the costume requires carrying an imitation weapon, make sure it is made of cardboard or foam rubber.

Be careful of dogs and other pets.

Give and accept only wrapped candy.

Inspect treats at home before allowing children to eat anything. If they can't wait until they get home, give them some of the candy you are giving out for a snack.

Source: Pasco County Sheriff's Office

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