Halloween is a favorite holiday for kids. The more houses they hit while trick or treating, the better.
The Mahoning County Sheriff wants to remind everyone that there are some houses to avoid.
Sheriff Jerry Greene points to the sex offender registry to mark off houses to avoid. The search is easy, and according to some parents, it can be very surprising.
With just a few clicks, you can find out who in your neighborhood has committed a sex crime. The sex offender registry is becoming a popular tool and one Greene recommends you use before Halloween night.
“It is a good tool to be able to tell your children where to stay away from,” Greene said.
Greene said there are 309 registered sex offenders in Mahoning County. That includes Tier 1, the lowest level of offense such as illegal use of nude photos or Tier 3 to include rape.
There are laws in place to protect children from registered sex offenders.
“There are not supposed to living in a house or a place or residence that is less than 1,000 feet from a school,” Greene said.
But there are no laws saying they can’t interact with children.
In Mahoning County, the database includes photos of offenders and what their charges are.
The entire search takes a few minutes, and it’s something several people have already done, including mom Brianna Duffy.
“I was pretty blown away. I didn’t think there would be that many,” Duffy said.
Kelley Ring searched, too, and said finding out just who is living in your neighborhood is unsettling.
“Anytime that it is that close to home, yes, it is a concern,” Ring said.
Other tips to keep your kids safe this Halloween include:
- Trick or Treat with an adult
- Go in a group
- Don’t take any candy that isn’t professionally wrapped