Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo has offered Halloween safety tips for Monday, and the Monroe County Probation Department will also monitor high-risk sex offenders during the holiday, the county stated.
“Every year, children and families in Monroe County have a wonderful time celebrating Halloween weekend, and it is our responsibility to help ensure they remain safe,” Dinolfo said. “Sex offenders have violated the trust of our community in the past, and our probation officers will ensure they cannot do so again. Law enforcement professionals will be out in force during prime trick-or-treating hours, to keep children safe throughout our community.”
The Department of Probation has ordered 105 sex offenders not to decorate their homes for the holiday; to turn off their home’s exterior lights; and to not answer their doors or give out candy.
The probation department will also conduct surveillance and home visits to enforce these restrictions, county officials stated.
In addition, law enforcement will also be out in force that evening.
“Halloween may be a fun time for kids, but it is a significant concern for parents,” Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O’Flynn said. “We urge parents to accompany their young children, and plan to go out before dark. We urge trick-or-treaters to travel in groups. Finally, I advise drivers to be extra vigilant when driving in residential neighborhoods, as children will be dressed in dark clothing, and dart across roadways. It’s my hope that everyone will be cautious, so as to ensure a safe, and happy Halloween.”
The county has also partnered with the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) this year, and issued guidelines and safety tips for parents with children, which include the following:
- Have your child carry a flashlight and wear well-fitting shoes;
- Plan out a route in advance;
- Trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods or areas;
- Only trick-or-treat at houses that are lit;
- and keep track of time and do not trick-or-treat after 9 p.m.
“Halloween is a big part of the kid experience each year,” Mark Gestring, director of the Kessler Trauma Center, stated. “Our goal is to make it as safe as possible. We encourage trick-or-treaters to be aware of their surroundings at all times, and to stay clear of moving traffic as much as possible. Flashlights and reflective materials help you to be seen in the dark. We also ask drivers to be aware that there will be increased foot traffic during the evening hours on Halloween, and to be extra vigilant during this time.”