Bullock: Ensure a Safe Trick-or-Treating
Attorney General Steve Bullock today urged parents to review basic safety rules with their children before they go out trick or treating and to check Montana’s online Sexual or Violent Offender Registry (SVOR) to ensure their children avoid potentially dangerous situations.
“Just recently, we’ve had a Montana man arrested in connection with the abduction of a young girl in Cody, Wyoming. When something like that happens so close to home, it reminds all of us that we need to talk with our kids about how to stay safe,” Bullock said.
Parents should remind their children of the basic safety guidelines:
- DON’T ever accept a ride from strangers.
- DON’T go into the home or yard of people you don’t know.
- TELL your parents if any stranger offers you toys, money or gifts.
- TRY to use the buddy system when children play outdoors.
- CALL 911 if your parents are not home and a stranger approaches you.
“At Halloween, kids should also be reminded not to eat any candy until their parents have checked that it is safe,” Bullock suggested. “And one simple thing all parents can do is to log on to the Montana Sexual or Violent Offender Registry and make sure their children don’t trick or treat at addresses where registered sex offenders live.”
The registry’s mapping feature allows the public to enter a specific address and city, and then search to generate a map showing the location of offenders within a certain radius of that address. In addition to the mapping feature, the registry can search for an offender by address, name, city, county, zip code or offender type.
The registry was created in 1989. Local law enforcement is responsible for making sure offenders are registered and that they keep their addresses current. However, Bullock also assigned Justice Department officers to ensure the addresses are current and accurate.