Twenty years ago, the city of Detroit organized the first "Angels' Night" patrols to attempt to curb Detroit's unfortunate decades-long Devil's Night tradition of lighting itself on fire around Halloween time.
The patrols are helping. Last year, Mayor Mike Duggan announced Angels' Night volunteers had increased and arsons had dropped slightly from the previous year. But once again, the city is asking Detroiters to be extra vigilant this weekend. Here's what you should know:
• There is a curfew in effect on all minors ages 17 and under from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Oct. 29-31. According to the Angel's Night website:
Again this year an emergency curfew is in effect for juveniles, ages 17 and under. It is unlawful for juveniles 17 and under 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, unaccompanied by a parent or guardian. All juveniles in violation of the curfew ordinance will be issued a ticket and go before a judge for a disposition. The parent or guardian may also receive a parental responsibility violation ticket.
• All citizens are asked to turn on their front and back porch lights and any other yard lights from dusk until dawn Oct. 29-31. Business owners and church leaders also are encouraged to turn on their exterior building lights during this period.
• Volunteers are asked to carefully watch their block from their porch or window and be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary. It is also asked that citizens "adopt" a vacant house or commercial property on their blocks by paying particular attention to them Oct. 29-31. If anything seems out of place or suspicious, immediately report it by calling 911.
• Volunteer centers have been arranged by the city's seven districts. See the official Angels' Night website for more information.
• Data analysts Loveland Technologies have created a map showing potential high-risk arson "hot spots" in Detroit. By Loveland's assessment, there are 11,700 occupied homes adjacent to approximately 8,800 vacant publicly owned structures, and those adjacent to occupied homes should be watched carefully.
Last year, we took a look at arson in Detroit in our "Smoke Screen" issue. Revisit it here.