DETROIT (WWJ) - It’s once again time for the city’s annual Angels’ Night campaign, when volunteers work together to keep Detroit’s families, residents and neighborhoods safe during the Halloween weekend October 29-31.
This year’s theme is “Watch Your Block,” a push to get residents to turn on porch lights and patrol the streets immediately surrounding their homes.
Lori Cunningham is the Director of the city’s Community Access Centers, where volunteers will meet before hitting the streets.
“They can just show up there on Saturday, Sunday or Monday, any time between 6 p.m. and midnight,” said Cunningham, adding that you don’t have to be a Detroit resident to volunteer.
Detroit firefighters have been preparing all week to do battle with any Angels’ Night fires that may occur. In a typical 24-hour period in Detroit, 20 to 30 fires are reported, but the night before Halloween sees a dramatic rise. Last year, 169 fires were reported; 119 the year before.
Detroit Police say they will be out in full force during the Angel’s Night period, in both marked and unmarked cars, looking potential arsonists as well as curfew violators. Parents who allow their child to venture out past curfew will be ticketed and could face 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.
The emergency curfew is in effect for youth under 18 years of age from 6 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday, and from 6 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday.
During that time, kids are not allowed to be on any public street, sidewalk, alley, park, playground, vacant lot or any other unsupervised outdoor public place, or in any arcade, billiard or pool hall, bowling alley, restaurant, theater, or place of amusement or entertainment, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
A second emergency ordinance prohibits persons from dispensing fuel into a portable container in the City of Detroit, and from carrying fuel or any other flammable liquid in a portable container, within city limits from October 27 through October 31, at 11:59 p.m. Exceptions will be made for the following emergency situations for persons over the age of 18 years: a stalled vehicle, heating a residence or for an emergency generator.
Violation of the emergency gas container ordinance is a misdemeanor, and violators are subject to a fine of up to up to 90 days in jail and a $500.
Angels’ Night is a Detroit tradition aimed at curtailing the violence and arson that plagued the city for years on the night before Halloween – previously known as Devils’ Night — by enacting teams of volunteers to patrol city streets. The first Angels’ Night was created in 1995 after the city drew national attention for an estimated 300 Devils’ Night fires in 1994.
To volunteer for Detroit’s Angels’ Night Campaign, call 313-224-3450, or visit AngelsNight.org.