State Police urge safety during Halloween

Staff reports

Halloween is a time when excited children around the state crowd their neighborhood streets for trick-or-treating. The Louisiana State Police is reminding parents to be vigilant when allowing their children to approach homes that are unfamiliar to them. Always accompany your children when they are participating in trick-or-treat festivities.

Louisiana State Police would like to offer several safety practices to use this Halloween:

*Ensure that your child carries a flashlight and/or wears a reflective or blinking mechanism to alert drivers of the child’s location.

*Children should be accompanied by adults/parents, and should not be allowed to enter homes or vehicles without their supervision.  

*Children should also know their address, phone number and how to dial 911 for emergencies.

Parents who are concerned and unsure of where to find accurate information regarding the presence of sex offenders and predators in their neighborhoods can visit the Louisiana Sex Offender and Child Predator Registry on-line by going to:             

Citizens are encouraged to look up important addresses and review the list of registered sex offenders living within a 0.25-2 mile radius of that specific address.  The mapping and address feature found on the website pinpoints exactly where an offender lives, therefore, educating citizens on which houses to avoid while trick-or-treating.

Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of the address-monitoring feature is that once your important addresses and e-mail address have been registered, the system will automatically alert you via e-mail when an offender moves within 0.25-2 mile radius of the registered address.  The alerts are in real-time and sent out via e-mail as soon as a new offender has registered with their local Sheriff’s Office.  The benefit of registering for this confidential e-mail alert service allows the “Offender Watch” database to monitor your important addresses for you, thereby keeping you up to date of newly registered offenders and making it unnecessary for you to have to check your important addresses daily or even weekly.

Under current Louisiana Law, it is illegal for a registered sex offender to participate in Halloween Trick-or-Treat activities.  If you become aware of a sex offender who is attending costume parties where children are present or giving out candy, notify your local law enforcement immediately.  

The Louisiana State Police encourages everyone to have a fun and safe Halloween.