St. Lucie County Sheriff's "Pumpkin Patrol" will provide calming presence in residential neighborhoods Halloween night (Oct. 31), according to Sheriff Mascara
Friday, Oct. 25: Once again, Pumpkin Patrol deputies will provide a calming presence in residential neighborhoods Halloween night (Oct. 31), according to St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.
"For many years, members of our School Resource Deputy Unit will be on Pumpkin Patrol on Halloween night to supplement the work of zone patrol deputies in residential areas throughout St. Lucie County," Sheriff Mascara said. "These deputies will be available to assist trick-or-treaters and their parents from 5 to 9 p.m. Halloween night."
Sheriff Mascara said, "Some parents are concerned about whether their children will go to the homes of registered sex offenders or sexual predators on Halloween night. I want to invite those parents to visit our Sheriff's Office website at stluciesheriff.com. On the left-hand sidebar of every page, they will find a button labeled 'Offender Search.' This will enable people to enter a street address and search the Florida sexual offender/predator registry for any registered sexual offender or predator living with in a 1-to-5-mile radius of the address entered. Parents can also open a map of the search results by clicking the 'Display Results in Map' link."
In addition, to ensure that trick-or-treaters, parents and their homes stay safe, Sheriff Mascara has these safety tips for Halloween night:
• Clear your yard and sidewalk of any obstacles or decorations that may be hard to see in the dark, lest someone go bump in the night.
• Keep your house well lighted, both inside and out; you wouldn’t want to miss any particularly good costumes, would you?
• Ask your Neighborhood Watch or local citizen’s group to haunt (patrol) your community.
• Report any suspicious or criminal activity by calling 9-1-1 immediately.
To make sure even the scariest costumes are safe, keep these tips in mind when buying or designing one:
• Try makeup instead of masks; it’s more comfortable and doesn’t obstruct vision the way masks can.
• Check to ensure that costumes are flame-retardant so that young ones are safe around jack-o’-lanterns, candles, and other flames.
• Keep costumes short to ensure that the only trip taken is the one around the neighborhood.
• Look for brightly colored costumes, attach reflector strips to costumes and bags, and remind trick-or-treaters to carry glow sticks and flashlights.
• If a costume involves any sort of fake weapon, make sure that it is made of a flexible material such as cardboard or foam. Or, avoid the whole problem of weapons by challenging your child to design a costume that is scary without one.
Keep in mind the next few tips to make sure your trick-or-treaters' night in the neighborhood will be safe and fun:
• Older kids should trick-or-treat in groups; kids walking around alone are never as safe as those in groups, and especially not at night. Younger kids should be accompanied by a parent or trusted neighbor.
• Review the route for trick-or-treating beforehand and set a time set when kids should be home. Also, have a plan if your child gets separated from his or her friends or from you.
• Remind your children not to enter strange houses or cars.
After a successful and safe night around the neighborhood, remember that the treats still need scrutiny before anyone eats them.
• Remind your children not to eat treats until they’ve come home. To help ensure this, feed them a meal or a substantial snack before they go out.
• Check all treats at home in a well-lighted place. Be especially wary of anything that is not wrapped by the factory or that is no longer sealed.
• Remind kids not to eat everything at once, lest they be green even without the makeup.
For more safety information, people can visit the National Crime Prevention Council website at ncpc.org/programs/crime-prevention-month/crime-prevention-month-and-halloween .
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