LEE CO., GA (WALB) - Parents and trick-or-treaters won't be the only ones out for Halloween, the Lee County Sheriff's Office will be scattered throughout the entire county for their "Pumpkin Patrol."
Major Keith Houston says they have been conducting the organized Halloween patrol for the last handful of years, since Sheriff Rachals was elected into office.
Their goal is to ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters and the community. And since Halloween is on a Friday this year they anticipate even larger crowds on the streets, that's why they are putting dozens of deputies in almost every subdivision of Lee County.
"There are a lot of people out, traffic will be real heavy, and there again, as bad I hate to say it, we have people sometimes that want to get out and create problems and troubles for other people," Houston said. "They might go out and vandalize vehicles or homes as well . Adults and children, they love to see us out there, we'll have just about all deputies out that night."
Major Houston says they also get a higher volume of calls from concerned residents regarding suspicious activity. He says they will be keeping their eyes open around neighborhoods and businesses to deter vandalism, a crime that sometimes can occur on Halloween night.
"Do not hesitate to contact the sheriff's office, if anything is going on that you don't feel comfortable about," Houston said.
And as for those planning to go out for parties, officials want to remind drivers that drinking and going behind the wheel will not be tolerated. People planning to consume alcohol should have a designated driver, especially important with the streets will be overflowing with children.
A few important tasks parents can do is to make sure they are never separated from their children, have kids wear reflective gear and to never accept unwrapped candy. It's best to always check what sort of items are being placed into your child's bag.
Officials say Friday is going to be a big night, so always be on alert, watch your surroundings. They want to ensure this Halloween is a fun, but safe as well.