Deputies on patrol for Halloween teach kids about safety

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - While little zombies, cowboys, and goblins are out on Halloween, sometimes real life horrors are also on the streets, which is why Richland County is out there too.

Senior Deputy Kevin Lawrence is part of the Community Action Team whose mission is to be a constant presence in neighborhoods.

"We're out here conducting extra patrols letting them know we're out here not just to answer calls and arrest people but also be there to protect children on this Halloween night," said Lawrence.

Lawrence and other deputies helped the Trick or Treaters by passing out glow sticks and teaching kids about safety.

While glow sticks can help keep kids safe on Halloween, on every other day of the year, deputies are on patrol and talking to the community to try to keep them safe year round.

Sometimes I think people don't know how to be safe," said parent James Manning. "What are the signs to look for and what are the things to do."

Deputies drive around the neighborhoods making sure parents are in tow and making sure sex offenders and other predators are off the streets.

"We do have special patrols -- all specialized units as well as road deputies have a list of where sex offenders and live and what neighborhoods," said Lawrence.

Because when Halloween is over, it's about much more than making sure kids get home safely with a bag full of candy.

"Sometimes people have misconceptions about law enforcement that we're not approachable or friendly, and we try to break down the barrier," said Lawrence. "Especially being part of CAT team make sure citizens are comfortable with us because without them we couldn't solve crimes."

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