FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Halloween is right around the corner and trick-or-treating in Fort Leonard Wood’s housing areas is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Monday. In preparation, Fort Leonard Wood has put a focus on the safety of all the little ghosts and goblins who will be taking over the installation.
According to James Stewart, Directorate of Emergency Services chief of police, the community can expect to see additional law enforcement officers throughout housing areas during trick-or-treat hours. More than 30 Soldiers from the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence NCO Academy will also be out and about that evening to assist law enforcement with walking patrols throughout the housing areas.
“The walking patrols will be wearing vests that identify them as security,” Stewart said. “The additional personnel will serve as extra eyes during an event that combines high pedestrian traffic and increased vehicle traffic. They will be there to help keep the parents, children and motorists safe and incident free during the hours of trick-or-treat.”
Anyone needing assistance during trick-or-treat hours should make direct contact with officers or personnel patrolling housing areas or call the Military Police Desk at 573.596.6141, Stewart said. In the event of an emergency, call 911.
U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood Safety Manager Don Busbice offered some additional tips to keep everyone safe:
Safety tips for drivers
- Regular gate procedures will apply. Anyone 18 years of age or older who does not have a Department of Defense ID card or sponsor will need to obtain a pass from the Visitor’s Center outside the main gate. Call 573.596.0590 for more information.
- Be alert for trick-or-treaters. Continuously scan the road in areas where children are likely to be present or where sight distances are limited.
- Slower speeds save lives. Pedestrian traffic increases on Halloween. Slow down and watch for people crossing the road or darting out from behind parked cars, bushes or shrubs.
- Put phones down while driving.
Safety tips for pedestrians
- Walk on a sidewalk if one is available and always use crosswalks when crossing the road.
- Carry a flashlight to increase visibility.
- Ensure trick-or-treaters can see from behind their masks.
- Avoid walking alone. Plan out a buddy system before Halloween festivities begin.
“Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year,” Busbice said.
For those hosting a Halloween party, Busbice offered some advice to make sure guests get home safely:
- Collect car keys from guests who are drinking.
- Be prepared to call taxis and rideshares, provide sleeping accommodations or identify guests prior to the party to be designated drivers to drive guests home.
- Serve plenty of food and provide non-alcoholic beverage options.