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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UAPD steps up visibility for Halloween

    Just for tonight, Kurt Cobain can break into your car or Darth Vader can steal your bike, and no one will think it’s weird.

    Halloween comes with its own set of obstacles to stopping criminals, said officer Frank Romero of the University of Arizona Police Department. Not the least of those are the costumes.

    To address those obstacles, Romero said the UAPD plans to increase its visibility on campus for the holiday.

    Romero said there won’t be any more officers on patrol tonight than there would be on any other Tuesday, but more officers will be on foot and bikes so the public will be more aware of them.

    Halloween costumes are especially bothersome, making it hard for officers to identify whom they’re after. Even things like someone’s race or gender can be hidden behind a mask or under makeup.

    “”Somebody commits a crime, we’re looking for Richard Nixon or a Raggedy Ann and Andy duo,”” Romero said.

    Criminals can easily ditch their costumes and escape without anyone noticing, Romero said. The nature of today’s holiday makes a criminal’s job easier.

    But even though criminals have an easier time disguising themselves, Romero said there usually is not a significant increase in crime on Halloween.

    Gerard Meurer, general manager of Gentle Ben’s restaurant, said he doesn’t expect there to be many criminal problems at tonight’s “”Drink or Treat”” party.

    Many people celebrated Halloween this weekend, which Meurer said would probably help to make the night safer.

    “”It’s not like it’s just one crazy evening,”” Meurer said.

    Randi Eicher, a creative writing freshman, said though she plans to go out tonight, she also thinks a majority of Halloween partying has ended already.

    “”It was most intense over the weekend,”” Eicher said.

    Kurt Minno, a psychology senior, said his fraternity already held a Halloween party where many partygoers came dressed as gangsters with fake guns.

    Romero said fake weapons are a big concern for UAPD.

    UA policy prohibits weapons of any kind on campus, including fake or toy weapons that may be part of Halloween costumes.

    If a caller reports that someone is on campus with a gun, even if the gun is just a prop, the UAPD will respond as if it were real.

    “”We will do whatever we have to do to keep everyone safe,”” Romero said.

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