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Santa Cruz Police working to keep community safe during Halloween festivities

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION-TV)- Halloween festivities are getting underway. Downtown Santa Cruz is expected to see a lot of foot traffic.

On Tuesday afternoon, kids in their costumes could be seen downtown. They were trick or treating from store to store.

“What I love about Halloween is that you get to spend it with your friends and family and how everyone dresses up,” said Gigi Guerra from Scotts Valley.

Even before the sunset, people were already getting in the Halloween spirit. “My favorite thing is seeing all the unique costumes that people put together themselves,” said Amber Gillepsie who works downtown.

Santa Cruz Police spent most of Tuesday getting ready for the downtown rush. More lights were also posted around to help brighten up the area.

“I think the biggest thing is to be responsible,” said Santa Cruz Police Chief Bernie Escalate.

“Responsible for your consumption of alcohol, responsible for getting to the downtown corridor and getting out of the downtown corridor.”

Over the weekend, the police were already very busy. Officers already saw a lot of activity downtown, from the clubs to the bars.

Tonight, it’s all hands on deck to keep the community safe.

“Between the whole city we have everybody we can as far as availability that's either working downtown or throughout the city,” said Chief Escalante. “Everybody is on mandatory overtime to come and keep downtown safe.”

Whether you're trick or treating here downtown or in a neighborhood you're familiar with, Santa Cruz Police said it's important to be aware of your surroundings.

“Thankfully we've got the streets blocked so we don't have to worry about cars and costumes that are hard to see in the dark,” said Gillepsie.

“I think it's going to be safe and wonderful out here,” said Holland Parker who also works downtown. “The police will be around and there's a lot of visibility. I think it will be good.”

The Safety Enhancement Program is also in place. A triple fine system is in effect for people who are caught littering, blocking pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or drinking in public.

The safety enhancement zone will be in place until 8 a.m., Wednesday morning.

Santa Cruz Police said if you see any suspicious behavior, make sure you report it to the police.

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Ana Torrea

Weekend Anchor/Reporter for KION News Channel 5/46


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