When responding to a call at a haunted house or Halloween attraction where actors and props are involved, watch your six and always call for backup. (iStock Photo)
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Your job is challenging (and often scary) enough on an average day. But add to the mix 40 machete-and-axe-wielding actors covered in blood and guts and 100 “civilians” screaming at the top of their lungs, and now you have a real challenge on your hands.
What’s pretend? What’s real? It’s tough to know the difference. But as a police officer, you must.
You may find yourself responding to a call at a haunted house this Halloween. Thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone (and you shouldn’t -- always, always, always call for backup).
The Law Officer Facebook fans came together to create this list of must-know tips for haunted-attraction response (hey, our team likes to have a little fun while we work). Share your tips in the comment section below. And stay safe out there this Halloween!
1. Joey said: Finger off the trigger.
2. Charlsie said: Carry some garlic with you.
3. Robert said: Don't let your mind play tricks on you. Use common sense. Remember your levels: presence, verbal, pepper spray, baton, Taser, firearm. Don't be too quick to think something is what it isn't (realistic props), but don't be too relaxed into thinking something isn't as it appears. Common sense and backup is all you need.
4. Rob said: Send the rookie in first ...
5. Brandon said: Most haunted houses have a policy that if anyone yells "no scare" they will break character and not jump out. Try it.
6. Jeremy said: Call the Ghostbusters.
7. Charles said: One Halloween about 20 years ago, Lester Peavyhouse had called to report loud music at a Halloween party. Officers responded and spoke with the partiers. Once the officers left, the music was cranked again and Lester shot four people at the party, killing one. Not that it was the officers' faults (it wasn't), but remember: Don't underestimate any call.
8. Robbie said: Make sure video is pointed at the house.
9. Bryan said: Bring your holy water, wolfsbane, cross and stake.
10. Dan said: Level the playing field. Before going into something like a haunted house it's best to have management bring up the house lights and call the actors out for a head count. They can always fire the fun back up after we're done handling whatever the call is.
11. William said: Watch your six!
12. Jon said: Get this approved for duty use: http://www.hornady.com/ammunition/zombiemax
13. Brandon said: Don't throw your Maglight strait up in the air when you cross back over the fence and slip on ice. Sorry Chad.
14. Kahn said: Don't get tunnel vision, turn your radio up, and use common sense. Watch your surroundings and don't be easily distracted. Good luck and be safe.
15. Rick said: It wasn’t a haunted house but just imagine: A partner of mine got a call of an open door in the lower portion of a Catholic church. Unwisely, he decided to go in before assistance arrived. He said he caught a glance of a guy holding both hands in the air. He flashed his light on him and yelled, "Freeze!" It was a statue of Jesus himself! I always got a kick out of that story. And the moral of the story for police: Be prepared, not paranoid.
16. Joe said: Two words: Sig Sauer.
17. Michael said: Your Taser won't work on vampires, ghouls, zombies and other undeads.
18. John said: Call in the K-9s.