DATE: Tuesday, October 27, 2020
SUBJECT: Sheriff’s Office Offers Halloween Safety Advice
CONTACT: Colonel Noah Robinson
AUTHORITY: Sheriff Dave Wedding

This Halloween the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office will be closely monitoring the residential areas of Vanderburgh County. Sheriff’s deputies will be watching for unsafe, mischievous and suspicious activity. The Vanderburgh County Health Department has also issued COVID-19 guidance for Halloween.

The Health Department classifies door-to-door trick-or-treating as a “moderate risk” activity and recommends the following:

  • Wear a face mask that covers the nose and mouth. Costume masks are not a substitute for a cloth mask.
  • Parents who are accompanying children should carry hand sanitizer and use it before allowing children to remove their masks or touch their faces at the end of the event. Frequent use is also recommended when possible.
  • Those who are considered high risk due to age or health conditions are encouraged not to participate in events.
  • Those residents who are not comfortable participating in the event are encouraged NOT to turn on their outside/porch light thus indicating they do not wish to participate.
  • Those persons who are Trick or Treating are encouraged to only visit those homes with outside/porch lights on indicating that they are participating in the event.
  • Social distancing is recommended except for those members of the same household who may travel as a group.
  • If you are handing out candy it is encouraged that you limit your contact as much as possible and that you use hand sanitizer and/or wash your hands between contact with others. It is recommended that facial coverings be worn while handing out treats.
  • If you are handing out candy or any other food items, please use only “pre-packaged” food from a manufacturer. (No homemade items please.)
  • When handing out candy or food items please place the items into the child’s bag or container, do not let the children grab their own treats.

The Sheriff’s Office encourages trick-or-treaters to only visit the homes of people they know well and to stay within their neighborhood. If trick-or-treaters are going to be meeting with friends to trick-or-treat in other areas, parents are encouraged to check our sex offender website page for potential sex offenders in those neighborhoods.

The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office will be paying special attention to the neighborhoods in which registered sex offenders live. Registered sex offenders who are on parole will be required to: place a sign on their door indicating that their residence will not be giving out candy, keep their exterior lights off, and display no outdoor Halloween decorations. The Sheriff’s Office Sex and Violent Offender Unit will be making increased random checks on registered sex offenders to verify their compliance with all stipulations established for them.

The Sheriff’s Office offers the following safety tips to help insure this Halloween is a safe one:

  • Motorists should keep a careful eye out for kids who may be difficult to see and may run unexpectedly from in between parked cars and other places.
  • Trick-or-treating should be done with adult supervision and in groups.
  • Parents, if your trick-or-treaters are old enough to walk the neighborhood on their own, make sure you know their intended route. Provide them with a cell phone and make sure they stay within a familiar area.
  • Trick-or-treaters should never enter the home of someone who is not well known to them.
  • Costumes that do not include a mask or anything that might obscure the child’s vision are preferable.
  • Costumes should be constructed so that children can move easily and not create a tripping hazard.
  • Trick-or-treating should be completed before dark. Trick-or-treaters should have light colored/reflective clothing on and have a flashlight.
  • Parents should inspect all treats before they are eaten. Anything that is not commercially produced or appears to have had the seal or packaging tampered with should be discarded.
  • Homeowners who welcome trick-or-treaters should make sure their homes are well lit and that there are no obstacles to those visiting the home.
  • Homeowners should give commercially produced treats, gift certificates or other non-food related items (school pencils, stickers, etc).
  • If you find anything or see anything suspicious in nature, report it to the Sheriff’s Office via 911.
  • Follow the guidance of the Vanderburgh County Health Department in order to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Sheriff Dave Wedding explained, “With mild weather in the forecast for this Halloween, trick-or-treaters may elect to head out closer to sunset at 6PM. Motorists should watch for trick-or-treaters in or near neighborhood roadways this Saturday. Parents are reminded to keep children walking to the right side of the road and always against traffic. Consider wearing reflective clothing and carry an flashlight.”

The men and women of the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office hope everyone has a safe Halloween this year.

Pictured above: Children from Amy Hahn and Aliegha Brown’s Arts and Craft class at the Boys and Girls Club of Evansville decorate pumpkins for Halloween. The pumpkins were donated by Lowe’s Home Improvement #0630 on Oak Grove Road.