HELENA – As kids get ready to dart from door to door to trick or treat this Halloween, you should know it is a day that can be very dangerous for your family.
A top priority for parents and children this Halloween is making sure we are avoiding the right houses. According to the Department of Justice, the Montana’s Sexual or Violent Offender registry tracks an average of 2,800 active sexual offenders and 3,900 active violent offenders at any given time.
The DOJ says the best ways to make sure you are avoiding those houses is to look at the registry’s map. The mapping feature allows you to enter a specific address and city and will show you the location of offenders within a certain radius. Sheriff Leo Dutton says the best way to ensure your child’s safety this Halloween is going with them.
“If you are going out make sure you are accompanied by someone older that can defend you if need be,” says Sheriff Dutton, with the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office. “You don’t know what’s going to happen out there. Have a cell phone, a communication device and a flashlight to be able to use it to alert drivers to where you’re at.”
It is also a good idea to inspect your children's candy before they dive in. Sheriff Dutton says there has never been a confirmed case of anyone tapering with candy in Lewis and Clark County, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. If you are a driver Sheriff Dutton says to remember what the 31st is and with snow in the forecast for some areas of our state it could make conditions even slicker.
For more safety tips, see the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s alert on the Montana Department of Justice’s website.