Halloween Safety

By: Meaghan Norman
By: Meaghan Norman

While it's not a usual practice, taking candy from strangers is accpetable this time of year. State and local police remind parents and guardians that supervising where their children go and what candy they eat are important.

For Lansing parent Heather Hamilton, the fun of the holiday far outweighs any potential worry.

"I would definitely never let them go alone but I think Halloween is my favorite holiday. I get into it and my son does too," Hamilton said.

Children may not realize that the door they could be knocking on is that of a registered sex offender. State Police Sergeant Kevin Mark adds that parents must be prepared.

"What we ask is that all parents and trick-or-treaters just go ahead and exercise stranger danger caution," said Mark.

Many do not know that it is not illegal for sex offenders to pass out candy to children. Mark said there is legislation on the table but there is no law that prohibits convicted sex offenders from participating in Halloween.

Lieutenant Noel Garcia of the Lansing Police Department said officers will be highly visible tomorrow night but it's to keep the trick-or-treating traffic under control and not to monitor the whereabouts of sex offenders.

MIchigan does have a Web site where parents can check out if sex offenders live close to their neighborhood. Checking the regisitry may seem extreme to some but Lieutenant Garcia said it's not a bad idea.

"It's okay to be paranoid at this time of the year," said Garcia. "A healthy dose of paranoia is what we recommend. It's better to be safe than sorry."

If your children are trick-or-treating this year police offer the following tips: Stick to familiar neighborhoods, wear reflective clothing and check the candy before eating.

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