FORT LEE, Va. – Halloween trick-or-treat hours in the Fort Lee housing areas this year are set for 6-8 p.m., and participation is restricted to on-post residents, Department of Defense ID cardholders and their guests.
Post residents who wish to participate in the activity should keep their porch lights on as long as they are handing out candy, advised acting Chief of Police Louis Ostmann. He encouraged parents to accompany children under 12 years of age and asks that people walk through housing areas instead of driving to reduce the possibility of pedestrian accidents.
“The garrison Provost Marshal Office and military volunteers from Fort Lee will be working together to ensure everyone’s safety,” Ostmann further noted. “The volunteers will be out patrolling on foot wearing reflective belts.”
The PMO team urges everyone on post to be aware of their surroundings that evening as numerous community youngsters will likely be out collecting Halloween treats. Excited children may forget to look for oncoming vehicles before crossing the road or step out between parked cars making them hard to notice. The speed limit throughout housing is 15 mph; however, motorists should drive even slower in areas where children are present.
“If any speeding or misconduct issues arise or if immediate assistance is needed, please find one of the patrol officers or volunteers who will be strategically located around the housing areas,” Ostmann said.
Furthermore, the PMO will set up command posts in the parking lots of the Child and Youth Services Campus on Sisisky Drive and the Jackson Circle Community Center. The phone number for the Military Police Desk is 804-734-7400.
As an additional COVID-19 risk mitigation measure, the command is asking participating residents to hand out candy from driveways, front porches or areas other than entrances into the home. Wearing gloves or using a ladle or other utensil to hand out candy is another safe practice. Face coverings that prevent the spread of germs should be a consideration if children or parents are in a group setting, such as an indoor or outdoor party, in which the vaccination status of other participants is unknown.
Other accident prevention tips from Safekids.org include the following:
· Ensure sidewalks and other pathways are free of tripping hazards.
· Carry glow sticks or flashlights; use reflective tape or stickers on costumes and bags; and wear light colors to make kids visible to drivers.
· Slow down and be alert! Kids are excited on Halloween and may dart into the street. Turn on headlights early in the day to spot pedestrians from further away.
· Remind kids to cross the street at corners or crosswalks, and not to run across lawns where they are more likely to trip or stumble and fall.
· When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
Establish a curfew for older children and stop activities at the designated end time out of respect for individuals settling in to get rest for the following workday.