Halloween is just a few days away. Decorations are up and finishing touches continue on Halloween costumes. However, as kids get ready to trick-or-treat there are a number of safety precautions you should be planning.
“Just be careful,” said Brandi Banda, Public Information officer at the Wichita Falls Police Department. “I suggest that parents go out with all the kids, stay in the neighborhoods that you know, and of course check your candy when you get home.”
As you begin planning your Halloween routes, officials said to make sure you know the face behind the door.
Wichita County is home to 233 registered sex offenders. With that in mind, Wichita Falls police are urging parents to put a plan together for Halloween night.
“We currently have 181 sex offenders they all have been checked and are in compliance with their registration requirements,” said Banda.
“I really wouldn't go door to door unless you really know your neighbors,” said Kimberly Howard, a resident and mother of two.
Howard also checks the sex offender registry every year before she plans for Halloween.
However, just because someone’s a registered sex offender doesn't mean they have to turn off their porch light. Some registered sex offenders are allowed to give out candy come Halloween night, according to the Wichita Falls Police Department.
“I think it should not be allowed,” said Howard. “I'm glad that they have the websites where you can go and look and find where they're at.”
After looking at the website Newschannel 6 found that there are some streets you may want to avoid. The 600 block of Central Freeway E. has 13 registered sex offenders. Fillmore Street has seven, old Iowa Park road has five, and Lucile Avenue has four.
“I've seen kids in the past run around by themselves, no parents, no supervision and that's a dangerous combination,” said Howard.
The sex offender registry list is available to research online. You can just head to https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/SexOffender/PublicSite/Index.aspx. On the website you can search by county, zip code and address.
Knowing what neighborhoods you plan on going to will be helpful, especially when it comes time to eat all the candy you've collected.
Also helpful is planning for what kind of traffic you can expect in those areas and what kind of lighting is around the neighborhood.
WFPD officials said it’s also important to plan for costume modifications. If you child's costumes is very dark, make sure to have something reflective hanging on it, have them wear glow sticks.
Another option is making sure your child is carrying a flashlight.Although there is no set time to go trick-or-treating city officials suggest a heading out from 6 p.m.to 8 p.m.