Harris County Constable Ron Hickman’s Office has planned ahead to make this Halloween another safe holiday in the communities his office serves!
“We have scheduled additional patrol deputies for this night,” said Asst. Chief Mark Herman. “In addition, we will have patrol deputies out specifically targeting known Sex Offenders that live in our communities. Our number one goal is to keep our kids Safe!”
Deputy constables have detailed lists of all sex offenders in their assigned areas and the conditions of their parole or probation. These conditions often include, not participating in Halloween. This means, no Halloween decorations, handing out candy, and or front porch lights on, to name a few conditions. Deputies will take a zero-tolerance approach with any violations committed by sex offenders.
Below are more common sense tips that can help adults keep their kids safe:
- As bad as it sounds, this is just a fact of life now. Get on the internet and check your local state website for sex offenders. Almost every state has one, just do a search for your state sex offender site. Look up your zip code and it should have a list of registered offenders in your area that includes street addresses. Make sure that your kids stay away from these houses!
- Know the route your kids will be taking if you aren’t going with them. Let them know that they are to check in with you every hour, by phone or by stopping back at home. Make sure that they know not to deviate from the planned route so that you always know where they will be.
- Trick or treating isn’t what it used to be. In most cities it’s not safe to let kids walk the streets by themselves. Your best bet is to make sure that an adult is going with them. If you can’t take them yourself, see if another parent or two can.
- Help your young child pick out or make a costume that will be safe. Make sure that it’s fire proof or treated with fire retardant. If they are wearing a mask of any kind, make sure that the eye holes are large enough for good peripheral vision.
- Know what other activities a child may be attending, such as parties, school or mall functions. If they are going to be at a friends home, get the phone number and make sure that you’ve met the parents.
- Make sure you set a time that your kids should be home by. Make sure they know how important it is for them to be home on time or to call immediately if something happens and they are going to be delayed.
- Kids will be kids. Explain to kids of all ages the difference between tricks and vandalism. Throwing eggs at a house may seem funny but they need to know the other side of the coin as well, that clean up and damages can ruin Halloween for everyone. If they are caught vandalizing, make them clean up the mess they’ve made.
- Some sick people find Halloween a great night to hurt cats. Explain to your kids that animal cruelty of any kind is not acceptable. Kids may already know this on their own but stress the point that it’s not acceptable behavior. Make sure that they know that harming animals is not only morally wrong but punishable by law and will not be tolerated.
- Serve your kids a filling meal before trick or treating and they won’t be as tempted to eat any candy before they bring it home for you to check.
- Make sure that if your child is carrying a prop, such as a scythe, butcher knife or a pitchfork, that the tips are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on. Make sure that costumes won’t get in the way when they are walking, which could cause them to trip.
- Teach your kids about not getting into strangers cars or talking to strangers, no matter what the person says to them. Explain to them as simply as you can that some adults are bad and want to hurt children, that they should never go into a house that they don’t know, get into a car or go anywhere with a stranger. Also, tell them what to do should this happen, to scream as loud as they can to draw attention and to run away as fast as they can to someplace safe.
- Be sure to show your children know how to cross a street properly. They should always look both ways before crossing the street and should only cross at corners or crosswalks. Make sure that if you have more than one child, they know to take the hand of the younger child when they cross a street.