By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – A bill now being considered in the state Legislature and a City Council member’s concerns soon could lead to a local resolution to enhance children’s safety at Halloween.
Councilman James Flynn became concerned last year when he learned of a registered sex offender in the city whose eye-catching Halloween display seemed destined to attract trick-or-treaters.
Worried that the display would entice children to come into proximity with a registered sex offender, he sought to have the council pass a resolution to keep known sexual offenders away from the city’s youth at Halloween. The proposal’s first and second readings already have been approved unanimously. A third reading must occur before it is voted upon.
Flynn’s resolution is inspired by Michigan House Bill 5321, which is currently under judicial review. He wants to prevent targeted individuals from passing out candy or enticing kids into their yards with Halloween displays.
Flynn’s proposal would require registered offenders to turn out their outside lights, not hand out candy and avoid contact with trick or treaters during the Halloween time period. He also wants to post a link to the Michigan sexual offenders Web site on the city’s homepage, so parents can easily access the state’s registry.
Riverview Police Chief Donald Ginstet has not heard of anyone in his city pursuing a similar measure, but said he would back up anything the mayor and council approve in that regard.
Wyandotte Police Chief Daniel Grant said his department does not have a specific Halloween-related program, but that his department knows who the registered sexual offenders in the city are and where they reside. He noted that conditions of parole specifically limit a past offender from having access to children.
For more information go to www.sexualoffenders.com/show/michigan-sex-offender-registry.html.