With Halloween on Wedneday, trick-or-treating is just around the corner for many of Birmingham's little monsters, ghouls, princesses and ghosts.
But when is trick-or-treating in Birmingham? And how can parents ensure their kids stay safe while on the streets? Take this advice from the Birmingham Police Department's Cmdr. Terry Kiernan:
When is trick-or-treating?
Though the city sets no official trick-or-treating hours, police generally recommend kids and parents trick-or-treat between 6-8 p.m. Many trick-or-treaters, Kiernan said, are out as early as 5 p.m. though he recommends they head home around dusk as a courtesy measure.
What kind of police presence is there on Halloween?
Kiernan said Birmingham police generally don't send more officiers than usual on patrol, as the normally-scheduled personnel is usually sufficient.
"Every so often we will get a call about some loud kids in a neighborhood, but it usually turns out to be nothing more than kids being kids," Kiernan said.
If police do find problems with particularly rowdy trick-or-treaters — particularly teenagers — officers will send the kids home, Kiernan said, or call their parents. In the most extreme situations, he said officers will bring kids into the station to wait for their parents.
How do I, or my kids, stay safe?
- Bring a flashlight if you plan to stay out late
- Dress children in reflective clothing so that as dusk nears, cars and other people on the street will be able to see them.
- Inspect all candy after trick-or-treating to make sure everything looks safe. If a treat looks suspicious, Kiernan said don't hesitate to contact police for screening.
To contact the Birmingham Police Department, call 248-530-1889. For all emergencies, call 911.