With Halloween coming up, just how safe is it for your kids to trick or treat?
There's no state law in Ohio that prohibits sex offenders from participating in certain Halloween festivities.
However, one community has a program to protect families during the holiday. In Warren County, sex offenders have to meet at the county courthouse for a meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Halloween to make sure they're not around kids.
This has been going on for several years now. However, many questions whether it's enough to keep trick-or-treaters safe.
Many parents say if they knew that one of the thousands of sex offenders living in southwest Ohio was their neighbor, it might change the way they went trick-or-treating.
"Especially with my 13-year-old who likes to go out and experience it on her own and being a girl," explains Jennifer Evans. "I think that kind of scares me a little bit that she may be going up to a door that wouldn't be appropriate."
Jennifer Evans is a mother of two. She says her family just moved to Warren County and she's thrilled to hear about the program they run for sex offenders on Halloween.
"I'm completely impressed with it and think more counties should follow," says Evans.
Warren County prosecutor David Fornshell says they have other ways to make sure these individuals are monitored on Halloween.
"The other thing that the adult parole authority and the Warren County probation department will do, is they'll actually send out probation officers to the residences of these sexual oriented offenders to verify that they're not there passing our candy or participating in neighborhood activities," says David Fornshell, Warren County Prosecutor.
But many parents think this program isn't enough.
"Our kids are the most important thing we have in life, and we have to protect those kids," says William Wamsley. "I don't think the law has gone far enough. They should say you restricted from participating in anything where a child is involved."
Fornshell says it's worth looking into stricter enforcement, although there's different factors including not every sex offender is a child molester or sexual predator.
"Obviously it's not full proof it doesn't apply to those sexually oriented offenders who are no longer under the authority of the probation department or the adult parole authority," explain Fornshell.
For more information on how to download the free Alert ID app to find out where sex offenders live in your community visit https://alertid.com/default.asp
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