Each year on Halloween, news broadcasts are filled with tips to keep kids safe during trick-or-treating.  Here's a modest proposal that may help: set trick-or-treating times in our communities.

How much more difficult is it to patrol the streets looking to keep kids safe when there are no defined times that children will be out.  Should the cops start at 4 or 5? What if kids are still out after 8PM?  Set a trick-or-treat limit.  In communities around the county, each town, village and city sets the times that kids should be out.  A defined 2 or 2 1/2 hour block of time when those who participate can be on the streets.  Houselights are on.  Cops are visible on the streets and volunteers are manning busy intersections and cross walks.

Could that system work in the communities of Central New York?

UPDATE 9:40PM 10/31/12

Trick-or-treating has wrapped up for 2012 (I guess?).  The first knock on the door came at 5:40 and the last at 9:22.  That's nearly 4 hours of trick-or-treating and well past when we turned off our porch light at 8:00.
Not to sound like a Halloween scrooge, but 4 hours seems excessive to me.  After 9, we're thinking about turning in and getting into bedclothes and the candy supply is nearing exhaustion.

10/25/2013 Update

I was pleasantly surprised to see on Facebook that the village of Herkimer does indeed have a set trick-or-treat time. This year trick-or-treating in Herkimer will be between 6 and 8PM on Thursday October 31.