Darren Campbell new 021219

Sheriff Darren Campbell

We are just a few weeks away from Halloween. I know many children and adults are eagerly waiting to buy candy and costumes. They are also planning their trick-or-treat routes, to maximize their candy collections at the businesses and neighborhoods that give out the best candy. I have witnessed vanloads of costumed children perform candy gathering operations with military-like precision. It was a thing of beauty to watch.

Along with all of this fun and anticipation comes safety planning, which is a must to ensure our children have a safe and fun experience this year.

First of all, we must educate our children on the importance of obeying all pedestrian laws. They should only cross the street at corners or designated crosswalks. Make sure to look right and left before crossing the street, and continue to look in both directions for oncoming vehicle traffic.

Attach reflective materials or “glow sticks” to costumes to ensure you can be clearly seen by drivers. In addition to these measures, someone in your group should always carry a flashlight to illuminate where you are walking. This also makes motorists aware of your location. It is also important to keep your head up and be observant, so please put your electronic devices away to keep from becoming distracted. Another great idea is to give your children a whistle, or other noise-making device, in the event they are separated or lost from their group.

Parents or supervising adults should watch the interactions of children as they approach, and interact with people who come to the door. Children should be told to never enter a home or building of a person they do not know, regardless of what they are promised or told they will be given.

The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office will have extra deputies out on Halloween patrolling our neighborhoods. We strongly urge parents and supervising adults to go to our website, www.iredellsheriff.com, and search our Sex Offender Registry sites. Once you go to the webpage, click the “How do I” tab. The screen will show several selections. Select the Iredell County Sex Offender Registry tab. You will have multiple choices on how to search the registry. The easiest is “In your area.” Just enter the address you will be near, and the radius you want to search. The radius choice is anywhere from a quarter-mile up to 5 miles. Once you do this, any registered offenders will show up. The offender’s picture, address, and crime information will be displayed. If for some reason you do not have access to the internet, we have paper copies of the offender’s information at our Statesville and Mooresville offices. As of the writing of this article, we have 321 registered sex offenders registered in Iredell County.

Once returning home, parents or other adults should always inspect the candy. Pay special attention to homemade candy or treats, or candy not in its original wrapper. It is a good practice to discard candy that is not in the original manufacturer package. If in doubt, throw it out.

If you have any additional questions about Halloween safety, or any other topic, please contact me at decampbell@co.iredell.nc.us or call the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office at 704-878-3180.

Darren Campbell is the Iredell County sheriff.

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Please keep it clean, turn off CAPS LOCK and don't threaten anyone. Be truthful, nice and proactive. And share with us - we love to hear eyewitness accounts.