While Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s has yet to announce how Halloween and trick or treat will be handled in the state this year, Highland County Juvenile Court Judge Kevin Greer released a statement saying that if it is permitted, trick or treat should be held Thursday, Oct. 29.
“Noting the court has no authority to set Beggars’ Night and strictly as a convenience to law enforcement, it is suggested each city, village and organization, should they elect to have Beggars’ Night, set the same on the last Thursday in October from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.,” Greer’s news release said.
The release also said the annual countywide curfew will commence Thursday, Oct. 1 for all persons under the age of 18. The curfew will run through Oct. 31 and will require anyone under the age of 18 to be off the streets and in their homes by 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and by midnight Friday through Sunday.
The curfew does not apply where children are accompanied by parents, legal guardians or custodians, the release said, adding that exception is made for children attending church, school or employment activities.
Enforcement of the curfew will be handled by all law enforcement agencies including the sheriff’s office, city or village police, and juvenile probation officers.
Exactly when an October curfew for juveniles began in Highland County no one seems to know, but officials have said in the past that the duty generally falls to the judge of juvenile court and that the curfew is not meant to keep kids from things they should be doing, but to curtail some of the mischievous activities kids might get into this time of year.
Late Highland County Juvenile Court Judge Richard Davis once told The Times-Gazette that the curfew goes back at least to the judge who preceded him, Orland Roades, in the late 1950s.
Davis said that when Roades was in office he simply issued an order establishing a countywide curfew around the time of Halloween. But, when Davis took office in 1965, he said he found there was no regular procedure in place to issue such an order, so he drafted an ordinance that allowed the juvenile judge to set a uniform curfew. He said that before, the various cities and villages in the county had all kids of different curfews, which led to confusion.
Greer also previously said he’s not sure where the idea of an October curfew originated, but assumes it started as a way to keep kids from pulling pranks like soaping windows. He said he does not see an increase in juvenile offenses in October.
Actually, Greer said, most villages and the one city in the county have juvenile curfews that are in effect all year.
Greer said that when he took office in 1997, he simply continued a tradition that was already in place in requesting a uniform date and time for Beggars’ Night countywide. He said Davis put it in place because the sheriff’s office didn’t want to be running all over the county for Beggars’ Nights on different dates and at different times.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.