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Halloween Safety Tips: Search for Sex Offenders in Your Neighborhood Before Trick-or-Treating

The police will be doing their part to patrol on Halloween, but parents can do a little extra to ensure their children's safety on a "scary" night.

Parents preach all year long to not take candy from strangers — well, of course, unless it's Halloween. 

It's that time of the year for fun and fright, but there are some safety precautions to consider before taking those little ghosts, scarecrows and princesses out to trick-or-treat. 

Capt. Ed Hassing of the Lakewood Police Department said it's important to keep safety in mind on Halloween. Click here for the date and time for Trick or Treat this year. 

“Wear clothing that’s reflective, so people can see you,” he said. “Parents should stay with kids."

Other tips he offered include carrying a flashlight; staying in the neighborhood and only visiting homes you know; and only giving — or accepting — wrapped candy.

“It’s just being aware of where they’re going and who they’re going with," said Hassing. "It’s pretty basic.”

It's also important to know your surroundings. A list of registered sex offenders can be found on the Ohio Attorney General's office. There are dozens of people listed in Lakewood's 44107 zip code.

“If you know of (a sex offender), I’d avoid the house,” Hassing said. "If the parents don’t go with the kids, I’d know where they’re going and give them a time to come back to the house."

A searchable database with an interactive map is available at Familywatchdog.org

ltm October 26, 2012 at 07:36 PM
This is the first decent advice from the police that I have seen thus far regarding Halloween. Great job gentlemen. I raised 4 children and I remained vigilant all their lives while at home. Especially when my kids were little tikers I kept them close and watched over them including Halloween. It is a parents responsibility to watch out for their children.
vahall October 27, 2012 at 03:27 PM
This article is completely unnecessary and will protect no child. Instead it will serve to harass law abiding citizens who have paid their debt to society and been rehabilitated. Why do I say that? Because there are NO reported cases in the entire state of Ohio, of any child being assaulted while trick or treating! For more details go to a comprehensive study by expert Jill Levenson and others at http://sax.sagepub.com/content/21/3/363.abstract. Captain Hassing has affirmed his ignorance on this topic and continues to put the children of Ohio at risk. Either out of laziness, a desperate desire for attention to his article, or some other motive, he has chosen to republish information readily available to anyone with an internet connection, i,.e. the Ohio sex offender database. In so doing, he perpetuates a myth and acts VERY irresponsibly both towards the children and the registered citizens of Ohio. A more responsible reportage would include these facts and statistics, as well as advice to parents and children on how to handle inappropriate touch, etc. Instead, he lazily rehashes the same old news about "sex offender stranger danger", which makes no one safer. The majority of new crimes are NOT committed by a registered person. Former sexual offenders have a very low recidivism rate, approximately 5.5%, according to unbiased statistics DO NOT BE MISLED BY THIS ARTICLE.
Shaira Leah Gomez November 13, 2012 at 01:51 AM
I have this app on my phone where I would be able to view threat level and sex offenders in a certain area so you won't have to go to a certain site to find out those registered sex offenders in your area. This app is very helpful for me and for my whole family. If you would like to know more of their interesting features , this is their website http://Safekidzone.com

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