Salem police call on state police Airwing to help ID Halloween overcrowding spots

State police flew over Salem Saturday and provided a live stream to city police.

Halloween season will be different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

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To help keep unmasked Halloween revelers in line, Salem police have called in help from above. 

That is, the Massachusetts State Police Airwing.

Around 3 p.m. on Saturday, state police flew over Salem and were able to give the Salem police a live stream overhead view of downtown, according to police. State police had planned a second flyover that evening.

“Based on our observations, there are a few problem areas we identified and need the public and our business partners to help us address,” police said in a Facebook post. “We will be focusing on reducing the outside lines going into establishments and moving groups along the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall, Derby Street and Pickering Wharf.”


Police also reminded visitors that masks are required downtown, and around the downtown. 

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Salem officials had anticipated this to be the “biggest year” in terms of tourism traffic, Kate Fox, director of Destination Salem, told late last month. She said it had to do with there being five weekends in October, two full moons, plus the release of “Hubie Halloween,” the new Adam Sandler film, on Oct. 7.

But due to the virus, most Haunted Happenings events are cancelled, tours are limited to 10 people versus the usual 50, and some of the events, like the Howl-o-ween pet parade, have gone virtual.

Anyone caught without a mask could be fined, Fox said. Fines will be $50 for the first offense, $150 for the second, and the third costs $300, according to the city.

In an effort to help measure crowds in Salem this October, we’ve asked for the assistance of the Massachusetts State…

Posted by Salem MA Police on Saturday, October 3, 2020

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