by Lee DeVito
Mayor Mike Duggan announced today this year's efforts to combat Devils' Night arsons through the city's ongoing “Angels' Night” initiative — his first Devils' Night since being elected. As in past years, neighborhood watch patrols, enforced police curfews for minors, turning on porch lights, and posting signs warning that abandoned buildings are being watched are planned in an effort to curb fires that have plagued Detroit in the Halloween season for years.
Duggan called for all Detroiters to be on alert, even pledging that he will personally join in patrolling efforts, which will last from Oct. 29 to Oct. 31. In addition, 50 fire companies will be on alert, including help from the suburbs.
An emergency curfew for the three-day period is planned that would require minors to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. from Oct. 29 and Oct. 31, and breaking the curfew could mean either a $500 fine or 90 days in jail. Another ordinance would prohibit dispensing fuel into portable containers from Oct. 27 through Oct. 31.
More information is available at angelsnight.org.
The origin of Detroit's unique brand of Devils' Night festivities lost to history, but thanks to the efforts of Angel's Night, incidents of arson on, um, All Hallows' Eve Eve have been lowered dramatically since the '90s. (Michigan is actually the only state to call the night before Halloween "Devil's Night," according to a NC State University survey — aside some areas on the East coast that call it “Mischief Night,” most of the country has no name for the night before Halloween. Lucky them.)