Halloween was always a busy night when I was in the Vancouver Police Department. There were the obvious extra things to think about. On this night, it was the kids thrilled to be dressed up going door to door “trick or treating,” happily unaware of the safety concerns brought on by traffic and poor lighting. Thank goodness for parents trailing along behind, sometimes with flashlight in hand to help the little ones see where they were going. We always hoped to get through the night without any kids getting hurt.
It also seemed to be a night for some adults to party and that usually ended up with police visiting the more bizarre out-of-control groups. I remember being at a call where we were asked to calm down a big house party that had spilled into the back yard, complete with a large and very drunk guest staggering around dressed up as a chicken. At least he had his chicken clothes on. Some of the others didn’t. It was one of those “do you laugh or cry situations.”
Halloween has also seen some vicious crimes take place. There’s a long list of Halloween murders, disappearances, burglaries, thefts, and other crimes around the world. It may not be the busiest night of the year for the police, but it can certainly be bloody and downright weird.
Retired Police Officer
Author of Second Careers for Street Cops
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