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Windsor family’s Halloween décor prompts police response

A Windsor family’s Halloween display prompted a police response Monday after someone spotted the words “help me” displayed in their home’s front window.

The sign, cut from construction paper, was the idea of Paul Sanford’s 12-year-old daughter who was excited to pitch in for this year’s spooky season setup.

“She came up with the ideas,” Sanford said. “I wasn’t too on board because it wasn’t my idea, but turns out it works!”

Sanford and his partner were across the border running some errands Monday when they saw the Windsor Police Service (WPS) arrive at their home through their doorbell camera.

A call to the non-emergency line confirmed the “help me” sign alarmed someone who saw it. A neighbour filled the Sanfords in on the details when they got home.

“Our neighbour across the street came over and was telling us about all the cars that were there and they’d asked her if she knew the family that lives here,” Sanford said.

“She said, ‘Well, I know they were just decorating for Halloween yesterday.’”

Turns out 9-1-1 calls over décor are about as traditional as the seasonal stuff itself.

“It seems like every year we get at least a few calls for decorations,” Const. Bianca Jackson said.

She said WPS commends those who call their concerns into police, even if they’re not entirely sure what they’re seeing.

Adding that a little discretion should be employed when decking the halls.

"We don't want to tell people what you can and can't do when it comes to your Halloween decor, Christmas decor, things of that nature. We don't want to be those type of law enforcers - but, of course, you want to err on the side of caution,” Jackson said.

“If you take a look at it and think, ‘Okay, somebody might call the police thinking that this is real.’ Maybe that's a bit over the top,” she added.

The Sanfords were not issued a ticket for the incident, but have opted to take the sign down. Top Stories

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