Saginaw neighbors getting ready for Halloween arson patrol - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Saginaw neighbors getting ready for Halloween arson patrol


(10/24/13) - Extra eyes and ears will be on the streets of Saginaw, making sure there's no devilish behavior the night before Halloween.

Halloween is a popular night for pranksters to set abandoned homes on fire and police are stepping up patrols.

The community is going to be right there to give them a hand. Thursday night, Saginaw neighborhood groups started planning this year's Arson Watch.

"Law enforcement needs as much help they can get," said Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Browning.

Don't be surprised to see flashing orange lights on your street this Halloween. Volunteers will be patrolling in cars and on foot the night of and the night before Halloween.

"To report anything that looks suspicious," said Debbie Melkonian, president of the Adams Blvd. Neighborhood Association.

Specifically, police are worried about people setting abandoned homes on fire.

"We let each neighborhood association handle it themselves, police their own neighborhoods," said Saginaw Police Chief Brian Lipe.

This meeting gave neighborhood watch groups a chance to get organized and ask questions.

Lipe says their arson watch program works wonders. He says years ago they might've seen 50 fires in one night, but last year they only saw one, and they think it was an accident.

And the community says there's another big benefit from patrolling the streets.

"It's also important to bring our neighborhoods back together and share a sense of community again," Melkonian said.

Trick-or-treating in Saginaw will be from 6-8 p.m. The police department will sound emergency sirens at the start and the end of tick-or-treating.

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