Safety first on Hal­loween night

The Casket - - Wheels - COREY LEBLANC coreyle­blanc@the­cas­

St. F.X. stu­dent-ath­letes will, once again, pro­vide a cham­pi­onship per­for­mance on Hal­loween night in Antigo­nish.

They, along with mem­bers of the Antigo­nish Town and County Crime Preven­tion As­so­ci­a­tion, will be sta­tioned at a va­ri­ety of cross­walks in the com­mu­nity, help­ing young­sters re­main safe while en­joy­ing their fun.

“It has been a huge suc­cess and it is a huge help for us,” Antigo­nish RCMP com­mu­nity polic­ing of­fi­cer Const. Mor­gan Macpher­son said of the part­ner­ship.

“It takes a lot of pres­sure off us; whereas, be­fore this was im­ple­mented, we were con­cen­trat­ing a lot on the busy in­ter­sec­tions our­selves.

“It frees us up for pa­trols through­out the neigh­bour­hoods,” he added, de­scrib­ing their as­sis­tance as “in­valu­able.”

Mem­bers of the St. F.X. Stu­dent Ath­lete Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil help or­ga­nize com­mu­nity events through­out the year, in­clud­ing the an­nual Hal­loween safety ef­fort.

“It is a lot of fun,” Antigo­nish na­tive Emma Boudreau, a mem­ber of the St. F.X. track and field team, said.

Grow­ing up in the com­mu­nity, she re­mem­bered be­ing the trickor-treater re­ceiv­ing a help­ing hand from St. F.X. stu­dent-ath­letes. On Hal­loween night, Macpher­son said, “safety is para­mount. When we do our pre­sen­ta­tions [at schools] and speak­ing to par­ents – we know some­times it is dif­fi­cult – we try to make sure the kids have some­thing light-coloured on, so that traf­fic can see them,” he said.

Macpher­son added they en­cour­age par­ents to talk to their chil­dren about us­ing side­walks and cross­walks.

“We are ask­ing driv­ers, as well, to slow down a lit­tle bit, be a lit­tle bit more cau­tious; not only at in­ter­sec­tions, but also any­where on our streets,” he said.

“De­spite know­ing the rules, kids will be kids, at times, and they will for­get what safety is all about be­cause they are so ex­cited.”

Macpher­son also of­fered the re­minder not to eat any treats un­til they are checked by an adult.

“We have been push­ing that hard in the schools. A lot of kids think, as long as they check them, that ev­ery­thing is alright,” he said of that mes­sage. “We have been ex­plain­ing to the kids why; un­for­tu­nately, that’s the age we live in, the so­ci­ety that we live in. We al­ways hope bad things do not hap­pen, but they can hap­pen any­where.

“If there is some­thing the par­ents aren’t sure of, if there is any doubt at all, then just put it in the garbage,” Macpher­son added.

He noted there will be ex­tra po­lice pa­trols on Hal­loween night.

“So, if there is any­thing sus­pi­cious in na­ture, don’t hes­i­tate to give us a call and we will go check it out,” Macpher­son said.

Corey Leblanc

St. F.X. stu­dent-ath­letes will, once again, be out and about on Hal­loween night to help trick-or-treaters safely nav­i­gate Antigo­nish cross­walks. Emma Boudreau (left), Al­lie Flower, Tim Bren­nan, Const. Tom Kel­loway, Emily Power, Megan Gra­ham and Const. Lindsey Mc­carthy gath­ered re­cently to dis­cuss plans for the even­ing.

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