Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween It’s that time of year again.  The days are shorter, the leaves are turning brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow and the mornings are crisp and cool.  As fall begins so too does the holiday season.  For those that participate, Halloween is a time for fun and games and to perhaps live out a childhood fantasy through dress and play.  (I still secretly think I’m Wonder Woman, but aren’t all women???)  This week’s post is a quick safety reminder as you prepare for parties, to take the kids out trick-or-treating, and engage in other fun activities.


  1. Small children should always be accompanied by a parent or other trusted adult guardian while trick-or-treating.
  2. Older children should travel in a group and should never be out on the street alone.
  3. Avoid placing children in long costumes that may drag on the ground as they may trip and fall.  The costume may also get caught on a curb causing injury.
  4. For costumes that incorporate make-up or a mask, ensure that the eyes are not obstructed.
  5. If possible, wear light colored costumes so that you are easily visible.  Consider placing a light or reflective material on children wearing dark colored costumes so that drivers can see them as they navigate area neighborhoods.
  6. Stay in well-lit areas and on familiar streets.
  7. Let people know where you will be and always carry a cell phone.
  8. Parents and guardians should always inspect their children’s candy before it is consumed and it is best not to eat homemade treats.  Throw away any candy that has been opened, has a hole in it or appears to be tampered with.  If you have any doubts, err on the side of caution and throw it away.  (There have been police reports across the country of authorities uncovering candy laced with ecstasy so you can never be too careful).
  9. For those adults participating in Halloween parties, be mindful of your alcohol consumption.  If you know you’re going to be drinking, use Uber or have a designated driver.
  10. If you’re at a private home, club or other venue, never leave your drink unattended or consume a beverage you are unsure of.  Unfortunately, predators still try to entice victims by placing harmful substances in their drinks.

People tend to let their guard down when they are excited or distracted.  These reminders are simple tips for preventing harm, injury, and victimization.  Have a great time this weekend and as always, be safe!

L.J. Follow me on Twitter: @CrimeDoc1213

#Halloween #October31st #safetytips #tips #crimeprevention #victimization #costume #safety #trickortreat #candy #alcohol #drugs #ecstasy #crime #justice #fall #autumn #ljsamuel #deardiary #DMV #WashingtonDC


Centers for Disease Control. (2015). Halloween health & safety tips. Washington, DC: CDC. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/

Cohen, P. (2015, October, 23). Is that candy or Ecstasy? Halloween warnings spook parents. CBS News. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/halloween-warning-is-that-candy-or-ecstasy/

Photo source: http://cdn.history.com/sites/2/2013/11/Halloween-Hero-1-A.jpeg

The Papal Effect

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Pope Francis after this welcoming speech during the state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Last week the Pope was in town.  It was sheer Pope Pandemonium.  People adjusted their schedules and lives in the hope of just catching a glimpse of the Holy Father, Pope Francis.  I had the honor and pleasure of seeing Pope Francis’ Pope-mobile and seeing him address the US Congress.  It was truly a blessing. From his arrival on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 to his departure on Thursday, September 24, 2015, a spirit of love had set over the city of Washington.  The City was calm and peaceful.  Everywhere you went people smiled and discussed in excitement their experience of the Papal visit.  There was so much optimism in the air that it felt like there was a shift.  A shift in the way we view each other, a shift in the way we treat each other.  The happiness was infectious.  I thought that perhaps this was the change we needed and the examples provided would lead to healing of some societal hurts such as discrimination, hate, lack of respect, rudeness, and violence.  Unfortunately, that was a utopian desire as once Pope Francis left the United States, the calm dissipated and we all went back to our normal habits. Wouldn’t it be a better and more enjoyable life if we all had mutual respect for one another regardless of religious background, political affiliation, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, whether you like cats or dogs, or sleep upside down?  It should not be that hard. Really.

I wish there was a way to recapture the feeling of last week…

Be safe,

L.J. Follow me on Twitter: @CrimeDoc1213

#PopeInDC #PapalVisit #WashingtonDC #DC #GoldenRule #peace #calm #respect #kindness #change #reform

Protests: Aimless Walking or Organized Action?

On Friday, December 5th, 2014 William Bratton, the Commissioner of the New York Police Department (NYPD) was asked his opinion of the ongoing protests in reaction to the grand jury decision not to indict the officer responsible for applying the lethal chokehold that killed Staten Island resident Eric Garner. The Commissioner responded by saying that people are going to get tired of “marching around aimlessly” (Jorgensen, 2014). Excuse me? I expected more compassion from the leader of the largest police department in the country. NYPD has over 40,000 officers and has always been heralded as the national model for training, technology, and responses to use of force. But it is also the same department that has been the catalyst for protests in the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s, and now the 2000’s. Why? Because it appears as though they are playing by their own set of rules. There is nothing aimless about the revolution that has spilled out from the borders of New York City across the country and around the world. Just turn on CNN and you will see people protesting in Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Oakland, Washington, D.C, Toronto, and London. Yes, people are in fact tired but this fire for justice is being done in an extremely organized and peaceful manner. People are tired of injustice. They are tired of innocent people being gunned down with no consequences. We are tired of families being torn apart and most of all we should all be tired of a justice system that is fractured and applied unevenly based of the color of your skin or the number of zeroes on your bank statement.

As Dr. John Kinney says “if you don’t believe and expect change, you will be an obstacle to change.” So let’s use this as a teaching moment. Now is not the time to stop. The organization and sophistication of the protests has been impressive. So too are the faces in the crowd. It has been a long time since there has been so much diversity and solidarity on one issue. Feelings about the injustices within the justice system have moved from a local issue to a national issue and is now firmly on the global platform. Respect each other in the community and within the police. Be mindful of your words for they can incite hate and hate begets violence. Use your tools in a constructive manner (education, government, policy, grassroots organizing, and social media) as this is everyone’s issue. So what is my response to whether protests are aimless marching or organized action? March on…left, left, left, right, left.

Be safe,

L.J. Follow me on Twitter: @CrimeDoc1213

#protest # peace #love #justice #ericgarner #icantbreathe #NYPD #ljsamuel #deardiary

Eric Garner Protestors


Jarrett. T. (2014, December 5). Protests against decision not to indict in Garner’s death continue. NBC News. Retrieved from http://www.nbc.news.com/news/us-news/protests-against-decision-not-indict-garners-death-continue-n262606.

Jorgensen, J. (2014, December 5). After huge demonstration, Bratton expects Eric Garner protests to ‘peter out.’ New York Observer. Retrieved from http;//www.observer.com/2014/12/after-huge-demonstration-bratton-expects-eric-garner-protests-to-peter-out/.

Kinney, J. (2014, December). A Change is Going to Come. Sermon presented at Metropolitan Baptist Church, Washington, DC.

Sanchea, R. & Prokupecz, S. (2014, December 4). Protests after. N.Y. cop not indicted in chokehold death; feds reviewing case. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/03/justice/new-york-grand-jury-chokehold/.

Source of photo: azcentral.com