Local law enforcement officers conducted a compliance check Tuesday to ensure sex offenders were not participating in Halloween activities that are banned by state statutes.
Franklin County deputies and officers with the Pacific, Union, St. Clair, Sullivan and Washington police departments checked the homes of registered sex offenders convicted after Aug. 28, 2008.
Restrictions include a sign at his or her residence stating, “No candy or treats at this residence.”
“We found a couple who were not in compliance because they didn’t have a sign out but we are not sure if anyone was at the home,” Sheriff Steve Pelton said.
He added there were no arrests made Tuesday.
Registered sex offenders can’t have any Halloween-related contact with children, and they are required to turn off all outside residential lighting Oct. 31 after 5 p.m.
Offenders also must stay inside their residence between 5-10:30 p.m. unless required to be elsewhere for just cause, including, but not limited to, employment or medical emergencies, Pelton noted.
Currently there are over 275 offenders who reside in Franklin County.
It is not required by state law for law enforcement agencies to conduct the check on Halloween. Local officials check the compliance status of offenders annually.
“Our standpoint is to take the extra time to ensure the safety of the children of our community,” Pelton said. “It is well worth our time.”
Many of the checks were conducted in areas with the potential for Halloween foot traffic, he added.
“To maximize our efforts we were concentrated on areas where we knew children would be,” Pelton said. “These checks focused on subdivisions and trailer parks that experience an influx of children going door-to-door and resulted in one person found in noncompliance.”
Halloween is not the only time authorities check the compliance of sex offenders.
In June, the sheriff’s office and police in Union, Washington, Pacific, Sullivan and St. Clair, along with the U.S. Marshal Service, arrested one convicted sex offender, and six others were found noncompliant, during a two-day compliance check in Franklin County.
The compliance checks are to make sure registered sex offenders are in compliance with court-ordered conditions, including registering their current address and phone number, any temporary/frequented addresses, employment and vehicles registered or driven.
Officers also check to ensure offenders are in compliance with conditions on the use of computer access/sites, email information, compliance with court-ordered probation or parole, and the identity of others who reside at the residence.
The U.S. Marshal Service assists in order to follow up on cases that extend outside jurisdictional boundaries.