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10/28/2014

Having a safe Halloween

 

 

Parents planning door-to-door trick or treating can check sex offender list

  Times have changed, and parents and those who will be in charge of children excited about the prospect of door-to-door trick or treating on Friday October 31, 2014 now have help to keep kids away from sex offenders’ homes.

   The Scott County Sheriff's Office has OffenderWatch, a sex offender mapping and alerting service to aid citizens in avoiding potentially dangerous homes.

   In Scott County, there is approximately 59 registered sex offender. "We want you to know where they reside so that you avoid those houses when trick-or-treating on October 31. We do the best we can in making sure sex offenders are living where they say they are living, so it is crucial that our citizens visit our website, www.scottcountysheriff.org, to learn who the registered offenders are and where they  or their family spend time", explained Sheriff Dan McClain.

   Sheriff McClain said mapping and address feature found on the website pinpoints exactly where an offender lives.

   Those who visit the website will also find other beneficial tools, such as the ability to sign up for free automatic e-mail notification, which will inform participants if an offender moves within a specified radius of any address registered.

   "If you aren't planning on trick-or-treating in your neighborhood but will be in a family members or friends neighborhood, register that address beforehand so you know which house to avoid. You can register any and all of the addresses where your children spend a lot of time. Addresses can include a friend's, grandparents' or baby sitter's, advised Sheriff McClain.

   Alerts are in real time and sent via our e-mail as soon as a new offender is registered with the Sheriff's Department. All sex offenders are required by state law to register with the Sheriff's Department or other law enforcement agency which maintains the sex offender registry for that county.

  "The benefit of registering for this free confidential e-mail alert service is that it allows us to monitor your important addresses for you, thereby keeping you up-to-date on newly-registered sex  offenders and making it unnecessary for you to have to check your important addresses daily or even weekly," stated the Sheriff.

   The website for the Sheriff's Department is www.scottcountysheriff.org. Citizens should click on the link "locate registered sex offenders" and follow the instructions to check their neighborhood and sign up to receive free e-mail alerts.

   "We encourage everyone to have a fun and safe Halloween", and Sheriff McClain. He noted, "Knowledge is power, and knowing where the registered sex offenders reside in your area can help you make the best choices for safe and enjoyable Halloween activities."

   Halloween hours on October 31, 2014 in Austin 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. and Scottsburg city is from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Several churches, the Scott County Heritage Center and Museum and the Scottsburg Volunteer Fire Department are sponsoring alternative activities for children to enjoy Halloween night.

   If door-to-door activities are planned, children should remain within their neighborhoods and never approach any home which does not have its porch light on to welcome young visitors.

   Trick-or-treating is limited to children age 12 and under. All children should be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult while trick-or-treating.

   Youngsters should not eat any treats given to them until a parent or adult has checked each piece

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