ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Halloween is just a few hours away but as we prepare our kids and maybe their costumes for tomorrow, local police want us to be aware of child sex offenders in the area.
Tanya Johnson says she has no problem taking her four small children trick-or-treating in Loves Park. She says she’s well aware of child sex offenders living in the area, saying she already knows which houses to avoid.
“I try to know where the sex offenders live and I try to avoid those specific houses,” Johnson said. “There’s cell phone apps, I have that on my kids cell phone so I have theirs linked to mine so I’ll be notified if they’re within a certain distance of those houses.”
According to OffenderWatch.com, a site where local police register convicted criminals, there’s more than half a dozen child sex offenders within a half mile of Johnson’s home.
“Sex offenders aren’t allowed to participate directly with Halloween.”
Loves Park Deputy Chief Rodney Scott says it’s a good idea for Parents to look up offenders before hitting the streets with their kids’ Halloween night. Scott says there wil be at least six more officers patrolling neighborhoods and checking offenders’ homes.
“Someone else needs to be giving out the candy, they’re not allowed to be in the same room. It’s probably easier if they just don’t give out candy. Probably save them a lot of trouble, because we’ll be checking,” Deputy Chief Scott said.
Rockford Police will also patrol neighborhoods and check offenders’ homes.
Officers say if offenders have children they can take them trick or treating, but they can’t hand out candy themselves. Another adult has to do so.