Meaghan McAvoy

Children dress up in their Halloween costumes Thursday night at Uptown Park for the Parks and Recreation Department’s best costume contest.

The Oxford Police Department (OPD) has all its preparations in order for the upcoming Halloween weekend-including extra caution for the streets and a hefty supply of candy for Oxford children.

However, despite the precaution, OPD Sgt. Jim Squance said Halloween weekend is expected to be like any other typical weekend at Miami University.

“Halloween’s pretty tame actually,” he said. “We don’t typically have a great deal of trouble on Halloween.”

Miami junior Mike Hart, however, said he thinks the opposite would be true.

“I definitely thought there’d be more crime,” he said.

According to Squance, OPD’s main goal during Halloween is to maintain a high level of visibility during trick-or-treating hours.

Squance said officers will be driving through Oxford neighborhoods in marked vehicles to ensure the safety of Oxford residents.

He said the police department also plans to call for additional staff for the weekend nighttime hours.

Squance said Oxford Fire Chief John Detherage may also be conducting occupancy checks, as part of the OPD’s alcohol enforcement policy of the liquor establishments in town to make sure they are abiding by their quota and are not overcrowded.

“When bars get their liquor permit, there is a person limit as part of the building code,” he said.

Squance said the Halloween atmosphere can help to create a more enjoyable work shift.

“It makes it fun for the police because it’s kind of a festive atmosphere and people are going out in Halloween costumes and heading to bars uptown,” he said.

This Thursday night at 6 p.m., the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department will be sponsoring a pumpkin carving contest in the Uptown Park where carvers can be awarded for the most original, funniest and scariest pumpkins.

The OPD will be present at the pumpkin carving contest, sponsoring games for the children, as well as providing traffic control and security for the Lions Club parade at 7 p.m.

Squance said Oxford police sent out a news release through the media earlier this week, featuring a list of safety tips that they suggest citizens abide by in order to ensure a safe and happy Halloween.

Such tips include carrying a flashlight, watching out for jack-o-lantern flames and not eating any candy until it has been taken home and inspected.

Miami also got into the action Oct. 26, with local trick-or-treaters visiting university residence halls.

“Actually my kids went to that,” Squance said. “It’s a really nice event for the community.”

Miami Sophomore Leyla Boss echoed his sentiments.

“I handed out candy my freshman year actually and I thought it was a good experience for both the students and the kids in Oxford,” Boss said. “I think it’s a good way to form those connections with the community.”

More information about the Halloween events in uptown Oxford can be found at www.cityofoxford.org.

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