LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) - Halloween is supposed to be scary, a fun time for children and adults to dress up, enjoy frightening festivities, and trick or treat.
But there is one kind of fear no child should have to contend with on All Hallows Eve, and that's coming into contact with a sexual predator.
And to avoid that, law enforcement officials said parents have to be the first line of defense. Detective Dustin Brock of the Leon County Sheriff's Office said that means being informed, knowing where the bad guys are, and what places to avoid.
He advised parents to visit the sex offender website to find out where sex offenders live. There, parents can also sign up for alerts, which means parents can get an alert when a sex offender moves into their neighborhood or within close range.
"Parents can go to our website at LeonCountySO.com and find the link that says sex offenders search. That will take them to a website run by FDLE and there they can do a search of their neighborhood for any sex offenders that live near them," said Brock. "They can also search by name address of internet identifiers."
The Florida Department of Corrections takes extra precautions to make sure sex offenders do not take part in Halloween-related activities involving kids and minors. They are given strict rules to follow on Halloween night.
They cannot give out candy or other treats, their porch lights must be off with blinds closed, outside decorations are forbidden, they cannot answer the door to trick or treaters or dress in costumes or masks, and they cannot have Halloween parties where children will be present.