Police plan to step up enforcement on Kenneth Road in Northwest Glendale this Halloween after roughly 3,000 trick-or-treaters swamped the neighborhood last year, bringing with them trash, vandalism and a whole lot of headaches for residents.
Thousands of Halloween revelers from Glendale and Los Angeles descended on Kenneth Road last Oct. 31 to get candy while other trick-or-treaters simply cruised and vandalized the neighborhood, Glendale police Lt. Bruce Fox said.
“It really overwhelmed the neighbors,” he said.
Residents reported egging incidents, overturned trash cans, an abundance of trash on the streets and broken light fixtures and sprinklers due to the amount of teen trick-or-treaters who were strolling around well into the night.
Some teens were drinking alcohol, using drugs and looking for girls, Fox added.
So police this year have decided to close Kenneth Road from Grandview Avenue to Highland Avenue to vehicle traffic on Wednesday, allowing neighborhood residents only, Fox said.
Police will also monitor Pacific Avenue.
Uniformed and plain-clothed officers will patrol the upscale neighborhood, as well as the department motor officers.
At 10 p.m., police will enforce curfew rules, and anyone under the age of 18 who is still in the neighborhood could be cited or arrested.
Many residents have also agreed to stop handing out candy after 8 p.m., police said.
“We are going to take a zero tolerance approach for all vandalism and alcohol incidents,” Fox said, adding that police were committed to returning the “neighborhood back to the home community.”
Kenneth Road wasn’t always a trick-or-treat destination.
Resident Dorothy Cullen moved to the neighborhood in 1993 and recalled when she would hand out candy to about 300 kids.
“I love Halloween,” she said. “It’s one of my favorite holidays.”
But as the years passed, the number of trick-or-treaters swelled and Cullen found herself running out of 800 packages of candy by 7:30 p.m.
Kenneth Road, she said, was becoming a “party street.”
Police say families have been drawn to the neighborhood because of the Halloween-themed decorated homes and socioeconomic issues. Another attraction is that Kenneth Road is flat, unlike some of the surrounding hilly streets.
Local high school students, police said, also enjoy visiting the area on Halloween.
“They all know it’s like a thing,” Fox said.
Resident Cliff Claycomb, who isn’t on the affected street but lives in the neighborhood, also noticed the trash pile up on Kenneth Road throughout the years, so much so that he organized clean-ups for the day after Halloween.
He was able to organize principals from Keppel Elementary, Toll Middle and Hoover High schools to remind students not to litter. Claycomb has advised residents to leave their trash cans out on the driveway and open on Halloween.
Still, the increase in trick-or-treaters has meant more problems, he said.
“Kenneth isn’t just for the kids that live in the neighborhood anymore,” Claycomb said, adding that he has seen carloads of children being dropped off in the area.
When trick-or-treating grew out-of-hand on Kenneth, Cullen said she made the difficult decision to boycott Halloween, turn off her house lights and stop handing out candy.
But that didn’t stop some trick-or-treaters from knocking at 10 p.m. and begging for candy.
Soon after Cullen confronted some of those teens, she said she noticed that her garden hose was turned on and thrown on her lawn, leaving it soaked.
“It was turning into a real melee,” she said, adding that the trick-or-treating has “gotten out of control.”
But this year, things are a little bit different and the added police presence has renewed Cullen’s interest in the holiday.
This year, Cullen bought candy for trick-or-treaters.
“This is a neighborhood,” she said. “We live here. This should not be a destination.”