Officials warn public to be wary of sex offenders on Halloween

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 12:07pm

From Caddo Sherrif's Office:

Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator is urging citizens to take advantage of a sex offender community notification program offered by his department this Halloween.

Citizens can look up addresses and review a list of registered sex offenders living in their neighborhood by going to www.caddosheriff.org and clicking on the "Sex Offender Registry" link. Simply follow the directions to search for offenders in your area or receive future e-mail alerts when a registered sex offender moves into your neighborhood.

"These types of encounters at Halloween may be rare, but we're providing an opportunity to be safe now rather than sorry later," Prator said. "There are 482 registered sex offenders living in Caddo Parish neighborhoods, and Halloween provides a perfect opportunity for one of them to become acquainted with you and your children." Another 132 registered and unregistered convicted offenders are currently in jail in Caddo Parish.

The alert service called OffenderWatch has been offered by the Caddo Sheriff's Office since 2006. A mapping and address feature found on the website pinpoints exactly where an offender lives, educating citizens on which houses to avoid while trick-or-treating.

OffenderWatch allows citizens to register multiple addresses for future notifications. "If you aren't trick-or-treating in your own neighborhood, enter another address beforehand so you know which houses to avoid. You can register any address where your children spend a lot of time, for example, those of friends, grandparents, or babysitters,” Prator said.

The alerts are in real-time and sent out via e-mail as soon as a new offender has registered with the Caddo Sheriff’s Office. “Registering for this confidential e-mail alert service allows us to monitor your important addresses for you, keeping you up to date of newly registered offenders and making it unnecessary for you to have to check your important addresses daily or even weekly," Prator said.

Prator said there are also Halloween safety tips available on the website. Knowledge is power and knowing where the registered sex offenders reside in your area can help you make the best choices for safe and enjoyable Halloween activities.
 

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