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Pumpkin patrol poised to protect

(Courtesy graphic)

(Courtesy graphic)

by Monica Mendoza

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — As dusk sets in on Halloween day, little skeletons and witches will make their way around the Peterson Air Force Base housing area. They won’t be alone.

Members of the 21st Security Forces Squadron and a team of 40 volunteers will be on “Operation Pumpkin Patrol” – two man teams on foot patrol throughout the Peterson AFB neighborhoods to ensure that no little goblin collecting his or her treats is in danger on Halloween night.

“Halloween is here and with that comes responsibility to make sure children are as safe as possible,” said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Arsenault, 21 SFS leader of Operation Pumpkin Patrol. “Parents should make sure children are properly clothed and visible when they send them out trick-or-treating.”

Peterson “trick-or-treat” hours are 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 31, throughout the base housing area. Pumpkin Patrol volunteers will wear fluorescent orange or yellow vests so children and parents will recognize them, and the teams will each have a radio in case of an emergency.

Sergeant Arsenault said there are a number of areas under construction throughout base housing neighborhoods, and patrol volunteers will help little ones stay on path.

“We think it’s important to make the kids safe,” he said, “and make sure no one trips over any equipment.”

Safety tips:

n Choose light-colored fabrics for greater visibility. If the costume includes a black cape or something dark colored, use reflective tape or wear a reflective belt.

n Wear well-fitting costumes with no mask. If children do wear a mask, make sure if fits well and has large eye holes. Choose costumes that allow flexibility and movement.

n Carry flashlights or glow sticks. Parents, take a cell phone.

n Trick or treat in groups; younger children should be accompanied by an adult.

n Stay in well-lit areas and familiar neighborhoods. Stay on the sidewalks. Cross streets at designated cross walks, and look out for cars backing up or turning.

n Don’t trample through yards or flower gardens. Don’t approach unfamiliar pets.

n Stay away from areas under construction.

n Homeowners, make sure the area around the house is free of clutter.

Source: 21st Space Wing Safety Office

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