Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre stressed safety during Halloween as he announced plans for the annual Blue Light Special patrol. On Thursday, October 31, every deputy assigned a unit (vehicle) will patrol the streets of Lafourche Parish neighborhoods with emergency lights activated from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to ensure a safe and fun Halloween for all. Motorists are reminded to drive slowly and exercise caution as children take to the streets for trick-or-treating.
Also, for the third straight year, the Blue Light Special will feature a compliance check for sex offenders. Deputies assigned to this special patrol will visit each registered Tier 3 sex offender in Lafourche Parish to ensure they are complying with their sentences. A “Tier 3” Sex Offender is one who has been convicted of a sex crime of the highest degree and as part of his/her sentence, is restricted from wearing masks or handing out candy or gifts on any holiday where those items are customarily distributed. In the first two years, all but one Tier 3 Sex Offender was found to be in compliance. While he wasn’t distributing candy, he was found to have altered his driver’s license to conceal his status as a sex offender.
Sheriff Webre said the Blue Light Special is designed to give parents some peace of mind while they are out with their children or while their children are under the supervision of another trusted adult.
“The idea of providing some peace of mind is precisely the reason we added the sex offender compliance checks to this event, said Sheriff Webre. “It’s just one more way we are doing ‘whatever it takes’ to ensure everyone is having a safe and happy Halloween. We do, however, still encourage all participants to follow our safety guidelines to help protect themselves as well.”
Sheriff Webre offered the following safety tips for this year’s Halloween:
- COSTUMES: Plan costumes that are bright and reflective, and consider adding reflective tape or striping to increase visibility. Make sure costumes fit well are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame. Consider using makeup instead of masks which can limit or block eyesight. Only use costumes and accessories which are flame-resistant. Secure emergency information (name, address, phone number) discreetly inside a child’s costume or on a bracelet. Think twice before using fake knives, guns or swords, and if used, be certain they are soft, flexible and do not appear to be authentic.
- TRICK-OR-TREATING: A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children. If older children are going alone, plan and review an acceptable route, and agree on a specific time when they should return home. Only go to homes with which you are familiar, and never enter a home or car for a treat. Always stay in groups and ensure no child is walking alone. Always use sidewalks when available. When no sidewalk is available, walk only at the far edge of the roadway and ALWAYS be mindful of passing vehicles. Ensure all children know how to call 911 if they have an emergency, become lost or witness any suspicious activity. Ensure children wait until returning home to consume treats and only after being inspected by an adult.
- SAFETY AT HOME: To ensure your home is safe for trick-or-treaters, clear front porches and yards of anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations. Check outdoor lights, and replace any burned-out bulbs.