Additional security not a concern for Halloween

Kim Brown

Kent’s trick-or-treat falls on the same day as the older crowd’s big bash

Kent State students have to share Halloween celebrations this year with another crowd: children.

Mayor John Fender publicly announced Oct. 9 that the city of Kent will celebrate its trick-or-treat from 3 to 5 p.m., a few hours before the university’s students begin to fill the city streets.

“It’s going to make it a very busy day for the safety department,” said William Lillich, public safety director.

Lillich said the city always has added precautions with extra officers and safety officials on-call during Halloween.

However, few concerns of extra public safety exist, despite the city’s trick-or-treat falling on the university’s weekend celebrations. That isn’t to say students should be careful of younger crowds out around town.

“I don’t see any major concerns because it’s falling on actual Halloween,” James Peach, Kent city police chief, said. “One incident is not related to the other.”

Peach said safety concerns mainly relate to increased numbers of people in the community, the downtown Kent area and neighborhoods.

He said the increased night activity and alcohol consumption are a concern for police officers, residents, children and students, which can result in additional officers in the streets at night.

“The increased drinking and behaviors will have an impact in the community,” Peach said. “We have to remember to deal with it on that level.”

Laura Shannon, Kent city resident and mother of three, said she also feels no serious concern is necessary for children Saturday.

“I have no concerns as I accompany my children while trick-or-treating,” she said. “There should be no concerns about downtown, as parents should either go with their children or not at all.”

Peach explained the city’s trick-or-treat, like many other communities, is usually the weekend before Halloween if Oct. 31 does not fall on the weekend.

Kent State also has a home football game against Western Michigan Saturday afternoon.

Lillich said the city has not had any major problems from past years that would result in worry for the university’s unofficial Halloween and trick-or-treat on the same day.

Shannon said she is hopeful most children are done trick-or-treating by the time college students begin to go out.

Peach also confirmed this past spring’s College Fest riots did not affect added security for Halloween.

“We just hope it stays festive and full of cheer so police intervention is not needed,” he said.

Contact public affairs reporter Kim Brown at [email protected]