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Know your neighborhood: Keep your kids safe this Halloween

By J.R. Tidwell / Editor

Halloween is only a day away, and parents and children are busy planning how they will spend their holiday.

While costumes and candy will be the treats of the day, parents and guardians are reminded to remain vigilant when it comes to their children’s safety.

There are currently 132 registered sex offenders on the list kept by the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office on its website. This list can be found at chiltoncountyso.org/sex_offenders.php and includes an interactive map containing a marker for each offender in the county. These markers can be clicked on for the name, photo, street address and charge of the offender who lives there.

According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, an offender is placed on the (state or local) website only upon conviction and release, through probation or end of sentence.

Derrick Bone with the CCSO encourages anyone who will be out trick or treating on Halloween to visit the website in order to be aware of those on the list who might live in a neighborhood that parents/guardians and their children might visit.

“Be aware of the sex offenders living in the area,” he said. “You are going to want to be cautious around those places. We will be out patrolling that night, and anyone with questions can give the CCSO a call.”

The phone number for the Sheriff’s Office is 755-4698.

While making sure you are aware of who might live in visited neighborhoods is important, there are also more general safety concerns to be aware of for Halloween night.

Sheriff John Shearon has several tips to help keep you and your children safe during the holiday festivities.

  • Always go to neighborhoods with people you know.
  • Always check your children’s candy prior to letting them eat it. It is always a possibility someone could tamper with it that could cause harm to your child.
  • Dress your children in some type of reflective clothing or add something reflective so they can be seen in the dark or low light. Light-up shoes can also be a good thing when in the dark or at least reflective shoes.
  • Always watch your children while they are crossing the road and watch out for oncoming traffic.
  • When driving on Halloween night, always be mindful of your speed with children crossing the road in front of you. Even though the speed limit is set at a certain speed, when you factor in that children go slower than that to make sure you can stop quickly.
  • Try to take advantage of Trick or Treat the Streets or some of the churches Trunk or Treats to cut down on the dangers of the children being in the roadway.

Trick or Treat the Streets is being hosted by the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce in downtown Clanton in the courthouse area the night of Halloween from 5:30 to 7 p.m.