Welcome to October. I started out to write this month’s Letter From the Editor thinking about what major events occur in October. Schools are back in session. Wait, that was last month (or even August in a lot of places). Labor Day. Nope, last month. Anniversary of Nine-Eleven. Last month. So… wait! Halloween!! Yep—it can be a major event and it can surely call upon us to do a bit of extra work.
One of my favorite things to see is goofy memes on social media. Just recently I saw one that said October was going to be challenging because Halloween, the full moon and Friday the 13th were all the same day! What was funnier was that some people were worried about it. Last I checked, Halloween was on the 31st—not the 13th. Those numbers are kind of backward. You can check your calendar to see when the full moon actually is (20th). While there IS a documented connection to an increase in crime rates and the cycle of the full moon, we shouldn’t let the superstition get out of hand here.
While fall officially started in September, the typical fall activities become more prevalent this month. Hunting seasons launch (a challenge for all of our Wildlife & Game law enforcement professionals), hiking, backpacking and camping ramp up some and all of fall sports are underway. Generally, that combines to mean a lot more people out in rural areas, some armed for hunting and some armed for defense from predators (slithering, two-legged and four-legged varieties). Of course, if folks are legally armed—and there are plenty of them—we simply need to be reasonably cautious around them. The challenge can be in determining who is or isn’t legally armed and doing so without violating anyone’s rights. Just keep that in mind, be alert, be mindful and act accordingly.
Once we get past Halloween we are officially into the holiday season—otherwise known as “the silly season.” We’ll get more into that with the November and December issues, but if you buy into the commercial retail calendar (and they really want you to), the holiday buying season is already upon us; the silly season has already started. I know...that’s impossible in the middle of October, right? Not hardly. Go walk around your local big box store and see all the Christmas glitz that’s already out. Stay aware of how the season affects people’s behavior and how it drives a greater volume of people out of their house. Given how limited the shopping season was in 2020 due to COVID, watch for the “bounce back” as people invest more energy and time into enjoying the holiday season this year.
As always, stay aware and stay safe. As one of my military police instructors said long ago: Stay alert. Stay alive.