More officers to roam streets on Halloween

Marissa Conrad

Any ghosts, ghouls or goblins out this Sunday night may be seeing a few extra police cars patrolling Evanston.

Evanston Police Department will be employing additional officers to deter any Halloween mischief, said Cmdr. Joe Bellino of EPD.

The holiday brings an increase in vandalism and “on occasion, kids are accosted for candy,” Bellino said.

In an Oct. 22 press release, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan urged families to visit the state’s Sex Offender Registry Web site before planning their children’s trick-or-treat routes.

The Web site, www.isp.state.il.us, shows which houses belong to registered sex offenders. The site lists 27 registered offenders in Evanston.

But Evanston parents are not letting safety concerns interfere with a day made for costumes, candy corn and chocolate bars.

Evanston resident Sarah Scandella said she only takes her children — ages 2 and 4 — trick-or-treating to houses she knows.

“Since they’re so small, we just go up and down my block,” she said. “It’s all neighbors.”

For other residents, the early trick-or-treat times set by the city alleviate the dangers darkness can bring.

“It starts at 4,” said Evanston resident Robin Rose, whose children are 8 years, 5 years and 1 month old. “We go early.”

Bellino urged all parents to accompany their kids trick-or-treating.

Asst. Chief Daniel McAleer of University Police said UP will ensure there are enough officers on the street “to handle any issues,” but UP will not be adding shifts or patrols on Sunday.

Even when considering potential Halloween parties, McAleer said UP does not anticipate anything will get out of hand.

“We’re aware of what night it is and that there might be more activity,” McAleer said. “But generally people understand that you still have to behave and you still have to comply with the law.”

Bellino, who said the increased police force requires EPD to “cancel some days off,” shared hopes of a quiet night.

“I’m hoping since it’s a Sunday, it may shut down a little bit early given (the next day) is a work day and a school day, ” he said.

Reach Marissa Conrad at [email protected].