‘Be vigilant’: officers work to prevent tainted Halloween candy

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NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) -- For the past two years, reports of tainted Halloween candy have come out of Neenah, days after the big holiday.

This year, officials are being proactive about trick-or-treating safety.

“The last two years we've had reports of tainted candy. We have investigated those incidents,” says Officer Stuart Zuehls, Community Policing Coordinator, Neenah Police Department.

Officer Zuehls says the past two trick-or-treating seasons in Neenah have ended on a sour note.

First, a nail through a Tootsie Roll back in 2016. Then, in 2017, reports of several nails through a Kit Kat bar.

This year, officers are reminding kids that Halloween is not something to be scared of.

“Have fun. It's a fun holiday. Don't be scared to go trick-or-treating,” Officer Zuehls says.

While both tainted candy incidents were investigated, and sent off to the State Crime Lab for testing, police were unable to track down who may have tainted the candy.

That’s why this year, officers are working to prevent any more incidents.

“Walk with your parents, stay on the sidewalks,” Officer Zuehls suggests. “Some of the other things to think about: if you can find obviously a cool costume, but find something with some bright colors in it, because it is getting dark so early now.”

Officers suggest waiting until you get home to eat your candy, after thoroughly checking it over.

“Any of the packages that are opened already, throw it out,” Officer Zuehls says. “If somebody gives you bananas, or fruit or something like that, just stay away from it.”

But above all, keep an eye out for anything strange.

“The number one thing is just be aware. Be aware and remain vigilant,” Officer Zuehls tells Action 2 News.

Police don’t anticipate finding any tainted candy this year. But suggest if you do find something suspicious in your Halloween bag, contact authorities right away.

The trick-or-treating hours in Neenah will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday October 31.