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Halloween Safety: what local police want you to know

An excerpt from a post on the Delaware County Sheriff's Facebook page offering tips to stay safe during the Halloween weekend.
An excerpt from a post on the Delaware County Sheriff's Facebook page offering tips to stay safe during the Halloween weekend.

MUNCIE, Ind. (NewsLink) -- Halloween is right around the corner and some Delaware County families are preparing for trick-or-treating and other fun events to begin. However, Delaware County Sheriff Tony Skinner wants to remind them of one very important message. Stay safe.

"You know, we would always encourage somebody if they need help, call us, we'll help you," said Skinner.

Events for trick-or-treating begin Friday and Skinner said it’s important to look at the safety tips posted on the Delaware County Facebook page.

"Obviously, stay in well-lighted areas. Don't go to houses that are sketchy. Check your candy when you get home, don't eat anything that's unwrapped...A lot of common sense stuff,” said Skinner. “Wear costumes that don’t bind you and are comfortable, that won’t trip you when you’re walking across curbs or unknown areas.”

He also warned that parents should research what houses they are going to.

“One thing that we’ve included also is our sheriff’s department website that has the Indiana Sexual Offender Registry on it. We encourage people to check. Put in an address and check your neighborhoods for where the sex offenders might live,” said Skinner.

While festivities for kids don’t start until the weekend, many college students will start going to parties and the bars on Thursday night.

Chief of Police for the Ball State University Police Department, Jim Duckham, gave out his own tips for college students.

"If you’re wearing costumes, be cognizant of them. Especially because it will be later at night and if you’re in an all-black costume, it’s going to be harder for people to see you. Things like masks and stuff around your face, you won’t be able to see out of your peripheral, so be cognizant of that,” said Duckham. “If you're hosting parties, we'd ask that you provide things besides alcohol. Clearly, if you're underage, you shouldn't be drinking, but, you know, have soft drinks, water, food for your guests. We'd also offer up don't post on social media that you're going to have an open house because then you can’t control the number of people that show up or you’re not familiar with all the guests that arrive at your home.”

He also suggested educating yourself and others on the subject of consent when it comes to sexual interactions over the weekend.

“There’s a bunch of resources listed on our webpage. Certainly if someone feels unsafe, call us and we will come and investigate that type of stuff,” he said. “We have great resources with our victim advocates here on campus so there are a lot of resources for people to talk about consent and educate themselves before going out to parties.”

One of Duckham’s biggest tips? Take advantage of the Lifeline Law, also known as the Good Neighbor Policy at Ball State. According to the university’s website, “The Good Neighbor Exception provides university officials the opportunity to waive University disciplinary action regarding alcohol or other drugs for a student if he/she risked revealing one's own violation in order to seek medical or other emergency assistance for another person.”

"If one of your friends needs medical attention because they've been drinking and everybody's underage, we want you to call. We want to be able to bring EMS. We want to be able to help people that need our help,” said Duckham.

Even though the police will be primarily focused on the safety of the community this weekend, Duckham wanted to remind everyone of one last thing: have fun.

"Be safe, you know, with the stuff that you wear and hang out with your friends and have a great time. It's a fun night."

Skinner shared the hours for trick-or-treating in the county recently:

Albany will have trick or treating on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.

Daleville and Gaston will both have their trick-or-treating on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m.

On the day of Halloween, Muncie, Yorktown, Selma and Eaton will hold their trick-or-treating events.

Muncie will be open 5-8 p.m., as well as Eaton.

Yorktown and Selma's hours are 6 to 8 p.m.