Halloween hijinks will not be tolerated

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 31, 2005

DEMOPOLIS-Halloween is full of fun for children, but unfortunately it also leads to problems such as litter. This year the Demopolis’ police force plans to crack down with a no-tolerance policy for litter on the streets.

The biggest problem is the image litter can create. Demopolis Mayor Cecil P. Williamson said there are always families and industries looking for potential locations.

“My concern about littering is the same one I always have,” Williamson said. “We are doing the best we can to keep our city attractive as possible because we always have visitors here looking us over who may want to locate here.”

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Rolling yards, a Halloween tradition in many towns, makes it difficult to put the best foot forward. This year Demopolis Director of Public Safety Jeff Manuel and the rest of the department plan to heavily regulate this activity.

“I think the biggest thing we are looking at is rolling yards,” Manuel said. “We want to stress that if we catch someone with a backpack full of tissue or we catch them rolling yards, they will be put in juvenile court in Linden.”

Officers plan to be on the lookout for potential yard rollers throughout the weekend Manuel said. If they are apprehended, the penalty will not be light.

“We will have people working starting Friday night and if they catch them, they will put them in the system,” Manuel said. “This behavior is always a problem because it involves trespassing and litter. It can get into the trees and these people have to clean it up. It can really make a mess.”

Littering as a whole will be monitored, but Williamson said yard rolling has presented the biggest problem in the past.

“We want parents to encourage their children not to litter during Halloween,” Williamson said. “That includes rolling yards because it is mischievous and some people consider it vandalism to their property.”

Zero tolerance will mean just that, Manuel said. Once an offender is caught, punishment will be handed down.

“We want to stress to their parents if we catch them, there will be no negotiations,” Manuel said. “If they are caught, they will go through the system.”