In Boise alone there are 696 registered sex offenders; more than 100 in Meridian and almost 350 in Nampa.
Before your young ones head out knocking on doors Halloween night, you may want to check if registered sex offenders live in your neighborhood.
Boise mother of four, Enedina Mata, was surprised to run her address through a sex offender registry and find out 12 registered sex offenders live within blocks of her home.
“Oh wow, that’s a lot,” Mata said. “It’s really scary because I let my daughters come up and down this block to walk down to their friends house and you just never know what could happen.”
Kids in her neighborhood, including her own, are gearing up to go trick or treating Halloween night, making now the perfect time for parents to log on to the Ada County Sheriff’s Office offender search website.
Some parents in Mata’s Boise neighborhood check online regularly to stay up to date on nearby predators’ whereabouts.
“There are a couple in our neighborhood, I’ve gone online and checked,” Kristina Clever said. “About a block away, one street over.”
“We have some in this area definitely,” Lindy Dunn said. “We’ve talked to the kids about predators and just the safety; we have let them know that there are people in this neighborhood that do have pasts and you just have to be careful and watch out for those locations.”
“They’ve ran up to houses with the lights off, and we try to tell them ‘No, that house you don’t want to go to,’” Lindy Dunn said. “You know it’s scary out there you never know what could happen.”
Dunn tries to teach her seven kids how to stay safe on Halloween. “They know not to go in the houses, definitely stay with the other kids – there’s kids going up to the house, don’t go alone,” Dunn said. “Go to houses with decorations, lights on for sure. Stay in this area and let me know where you are at all times, especially if they’re not with me.”
Mata’s husband makes sure to accompany their kids every year. “Usually my husband walks up to every household with the kids, just as a safety precaution,” Mata said. “He just gets scared that my daughters won’t return home or something might happen to them so he’d just rather be there to make sure they go in a house, get candy, and come back.”
The best way to make sure your kids stay safe on Halloween is by trick-or-treating with them. If they go out with friends make sure they stay in a group and go over safety tips with them beforehand.