News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Richmond County deputies will be focusing on keeping your kids safe this Halloween.
They will be making sure sex offenders are keeping curfew tonight so parents don't have to worry about who's offering their children candy.
"It is a proactive approach to making sure that these folks that have been convicted of these crimes, making sure that they're not enticing young folks," said Cpt. Scott Gay with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
Every registered sex offender on probation in Richmond County will be getting a house call tonight from deputies.
"Make sure they're not participating in any of the Halloween activities," he said.
It's part of a statewide rule in Georgia, requiring all sex offenders still on parole or probation to stay under house arrest during the hours kids will be trick-or-treating.
"The world is dangerous. There are some unscrupulous people in this world and we need to be careful of which houses we allow our children to go to," he said.
The same goes for sex offenders in South Carolina. There's a curfew from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Halloween night for all sex offenders, keeping them from participating in any Halloween activities that may involve children.
"Anything from giving out candy to providing haunted houses for the young folks," Gay said.
Officials say, unfortunately, with masks, haunted houses and the lure of candy, Halloween can make children easy targets for sex offenders.
"It's sad that it's come to this point, but unfortunately, when you're convicted of a crime, the stigma stays with you," he said.
If you'd like to check your trick-or-treat route to make sure you aren't knocking on the wrong doors, you can go online to the GBI website or the SLED website to search for sex offenders living near you.