Check Sex Offender Registry Before Halloween
It's important that parents take all the proper precautions before stepping out to take your children out on Halloween. One important precaution to remember is knowing where the sex offenders are in your area, says Sheriff Tony Mancuso. It's critical that you "know before you go" this Halloween.
Did you know according to statistics from the Department of Justice and Watch Systems LLC, an estimated 80% of all addresses have at least one sex offender within one mile? Forty-five percent of sexual assault victims are under twelve, and 75% of victims know their attacker. Over half of all sexual assaults occur within one mile of the victim’s home. Sex offenders cross socio-economic boundaries, living in both the richest and poorest of neighborhoods.
It's easy to get real-time access by going to www.cpso.com and clicking the "Sex Offender Watch" tab. Here's what you do, "Simply enter your home address to view a printable map of your neighborhood and any offenders in the surrounding area. If you aren’t planning on Trick-or-Treating in your own neighborhood but will be in a different neighborhood, you can also search that address beforehand so you know which houses to avoid,” says Sheriff Mancuso. Also, “If you aren’t planning on Trick-or-Treating in your own neighborhood, but will be in a different neighborhood, register that address beforehand so you know which houses to avoid,” says Sheriff Mancuso.
Sheriff Mancuso also encourages parents to take the extra step and register for free e-mail alerts. “You can enter your home, school, or grandparents’ addresses to receive real-time e-mail notifications any time an offender moves within two miles of any address you register." The alerts are sent as soon as an offender has registered with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The service is free to the public, and there's no limit on the number of addresses you can register, said a media release. Your email address and physical addresses are confidential. Sheriff Mancuso says he wants parents to "feel confident that they are armed with the necessary tools to keep their children safe this Halloween."
“We do our best to ensure sex offenders live where they tell us, but it is up to our citizens to utilize these online tools to see who the registered sex offenders are and where they are living,” says Sheriff Mancuso.
A CPSO Sex Offender Unit and Warrants Division will be out monitoring offenders during trick-or-treating hours on Wednesday, October 31, "assuring they are adhering to the restrictions and requirements".