From the Winter 2011 Northwest Glendale Homeowners Association Newsletter (reposted in anticipation of the September 20, 2012 Halloween Safety meeting):
Kenneth Road between Grandview and Pacific Avenues has become scarier and more crowded each Halloween, as the stretch has become an annual magnet. What should be a short, harmless outing for little kids has turned into a long night marked by a mob-like atmosphere, vandalism and significant litter. The Glendale Police Department, with the support of affected residents and the Northwest Glendale Homeowners Association, aims to turn the situation around this year with a target shut-down time of 8 p.m., and a police-enforced 10 p.m. curfew and road closure.
NWGHA member Cliff Claycomb, who lives just north of Kenneth and has organized a Halloween litter cleanup effort two years in a row, contacted the GDP in November to figure out how to have a safer, less crowded, and more family –friendly night.
More than 50 people came to a meeting he organized, which was hosted by New Life Christian Church (at the corner of Kenneth and Bruce) led by GPD Lieutenant Bruce Fox, West Area Commander, and also attended by several GPD officers including Josh Luna, John Gilkerson, and Carl Povilaitis.
Among the complaints: people congregating on lawns, destroying property, banging on doors late at night after lights were out, and scaring little children. Concerns: kids and families running across the street while so many cars are cruising in both directions, huge crowds near Kenneth Village (a popular drop-off point for those who couldn’t find parking), and rowdy behavior. One corner home at Highland and Kenneth had 1,100+ trick-or-treaters between 5:30 pm and 8 pm on Halloween night. Further west, a resident counted 2,700. (Police estimated there were about 3,000 people in the neighborhood that night). Distributing Halloween candy to so many adds up quickly, and if recipients aren’t good guests it is doubly inconvenient. The church itself had some issues with crowds overflowing into its small parking lot while it hosted a children’s festival.
Fox reported that among the people confronted by police, some had IDs with addresses as far away as Echo Park and Tujunga. Young people from Hoover High and around Glendale used Kenneth Road as a meeting point that night. More police presence would certainly be planned for next year, he said, but he also wanted to explore more ideas.
Residents discussed the option of “going dark” for one year, or a ban on decorations, both of which couldn’t be enforced throughout the neighborhood. The group reached a tentative consensus on an “official” 8 p.m. shutdown for Halloween candy distribution, as well as a willingness to explore closing the entire stretch of road with barricades that night (although Fox warned that Kenneth’s closure could create more of a ‘party’ atmosphere for those walking along the street that night).
Fox met with the Northwest Glendale Homeowners Association board at its December 2011 meeting, to discuss happenings and crime trends in its sector of Glendale, as well as results of the neighborhood meeting. He confirmed that GPD would be pursuing an 8 o’clock voluntary end to trick-or-treating, a 10 o’clock curfew for the neighborhood, and a street closure for Kenneth between Pacific and Grandview Avenues for next Halloween night. Fox says he is determined to turn the situation around and reduce the attraction of Kenneth Road for out-of-area folks looking for a Halloween scene. Looking ahead to fall, he plans an outreach campaign in the neighborhood, at the local schools, and in the community. Please help tone down the Halloween carnival atmosphere by spreading the word among neighbors and friends, adhering to the 8 p.m. candy cutoff time and cooperating as the police plan and set up the road closure.