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Parents worried about Halloween violence in Jackson

Posted at 11:18 AM, Oct 31, 2017

The recent string of violent crimes in Jackson has some parents worried about sending their kids out trick-or-treating Halloween night. FOX 47's Alani Letang talked with one parent who said she's had enough of the violence in her community.

Ramona Thompson has lived in Jackson all her life, she said that crime has gotten so bad that she can't even walk her pets anymore because she feels even her own neighborhood isn't safe anymore. 

"I don't feel safe walking anywhere especially at night, it really doesn't matter because they are shooting during the day too," Thompson said.

She said she worries about her daughter when she goes out at night, "I don't like my daughter to go out and party that much because I don't know if that's the last time I'm going to see her."

It's the shootings in particular that Thompson said has her worried about Halloween night. Especially for kids who don't need a parent to walk with them anymore, she said: "just be careful...because bullets don't have eyes."

That's one of the reasons the YMCA in Jackson is offering an alternative to traditional trick or treating, during their annual trunk or treat Tuesday night. 

Shawna Tello, the CEO at the Jackson YMCA, said they have done this event for 10 years. Last year Tello said there were over 1,500 kids and their families that attended the event. And even some years they have run out of candy. Trunks start to arrive at 5:30 p.m. and kids and families are let in at 6 p.m.

"There will be kids lined all the way around the block here, our primary purpose here is to provide a safe place for kids to do their trick or tricking, " she said.

Tello explained that events like trunk or treats are becoming more and more popular. She tells us that last year she didn't see many kids out in her neighborhood. Even her 10-year-old daughter has never gone door to door.

"I think that as the culture has changed people are getting away from door-to-door, in general people want to be in a group and they want to engage as a community," Tello said.
A community she said, that prides itself on coming together to keep kids safe.

The Jackson YMCA trunk or treat is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. October 31, 2017. After that event is finished children can go across the street to St. Pauls Episcopal Church for hot chocolate and hot dogs.

Some advice to keep your children safe this Halloween:

1. Children under 12 should always be with an adult while trick or treating.

2.Before going out, check the Michigan sex offender website. You can map out homes where they live before planning your route.

SEX OFFENDER SEARCH LINK: TEXT HERE

3. AAA is reminding drivers to slow down in neighborhoods and stay off your phone on Halloween night.

4. Trick or treaters should be armed with a flashlight and wear reflective tape on costumes and treat buckets.