Halloween Safety Tips: Search for Sex Offenders in Chelsea Before Trick-or-Treating
The police will be doing their part to patrol on Halloween, but parents can do a little extra to ensure their children's safety on a "scary" night.
Parents preach all year long to not take candy from strangers — well, of course, unless it's Halloween.
It's that time of the year for fun and fright, but there are some safety precautions to consider before taking those little ghosts, scarecrows and princesses out to trick-or-treat.
Chief Ed Toth of the Chelsea Police Department said it's important to keep safety in mind on Halloween, especially with this year's later trick-or-treat hours.
"When you are out trick-or-treating, you should never reach into the bag and grab a piece of candy because you don't know what you are eating," Toth said. "Wait until you get home and visually inspect the candy to make sure its safe."
Toth said parents should exercise extra caution with children walking in poorly lit neighborhoods.
"Wear clothing that’s reflective, so people can see you,” he said. “Parents should stay with kids."
Other tips he offered include carrying a flashlight; staying in the neighborhood and only visiting homes you know; and only giving — or accepting — wrapped candy.
"The biggest concern is eating anything that is unwrapped," Toth said. "I tell parents to spread all the candy out on the table when they get home and discard anything that is unwrapped, looks or smells funny."
That includes partially opened candy bars, fruit, and other food products that do not have a wrapper.
It's also important to know your surroundings. A list of registered sex offenders can be found on the Michigan Attorney General's Office. There are a few people listed in Chelsea's 48118 zip code.
There are three tiers of crimes an individual can be listed under.
- Tier 1 offenders must register for 15 years and verify annually.
- Tier 2 offenders must register for 25 years and verify bi-annually.
- Tier 3 offenders must register for life and verify quarterly.
The Michigan State Police also have a system to send out an email alert when a registered sex offender moves near you.
Sgt. Keith Flores of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office said its a good idea for parents to be aware of sex offenders living in the community. Flores said sex offenders on probation or parole whose victim was a minor (under 17) have to report to the sheriff's substation in their town between 3:30 and 9 p.m. on Halloween to verify their residence.
To find out more information about the people listed in the map, and to see photos, visit the Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry.
Patch has mapped out registered sex offenders in Chelsea, so you can choose whose door to knock on and whose not to — especially if your family is trick-or-treating in a new neighborhood, with friends or at grandma's.
To check out your neighborhood, zoom in or out of the map above. Click on a flag to get specific addresses.