The St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office is making plans to keep Halloween as safe as possible for local children.
According to Sheriff Bobby Guidroz, there are approximately 195 registered sex offenders in the parish, and one way to stay safe is to check out www.slpsheriff.com to see who the registered sex offenders are and where they life. Citizens are encouraged to check any addresses where they are their family spend time.
Sheriff Guidroz says, "The mapping and address feature found on the website pinpoints exactly where an offender lives."
Another beneficial tool the sheriff's office has implemented are free automatic email notifications informing you if an offender moves within a specified radius of any address you register.
"If you aren't planning on trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, but will be in a family or friend's neighborhood, register their address beforehand so you know which houses to avoid. You can register any and all of the addresses where your children spend a lot of time; for example friend's, grandparents, or babysitter's addresses" says Sheriff Bobby Guidroz.
The alerts are in real time and sent out via email as soon as a new offender has registered with the sheriff's office.
Sheriff Guidroz said the notifications benefit parents because they keep you up to date on newly registered offenders, making it unnecessary to have to check your important addresses daily or weekly.
Sheriff Guidroz encourages everyone to have a fun and safe Halloween.
On Halloween night, the Sheriff's Office will have additional units to look for sex offenders not complying with laws and to quickly respond to complaints of non-compliance. There will also be extra patrols in the high traffic areas where trick or treat is taking place.
Sheriff Guidroz added, "Our Sex Offender Unit will patrol throughout the parish, especially in the most congested areas looking for sex offenders. Louisiana law specifically prohibits sex offenders from wearing masks or hoods during Halloween, Mardi Gras, Easter and Christmas. The law also mandates that sex offenders are not to dispense candy or gifts on Halloween or the other mentioned holidays."
Sex offenders are not allowed to dispense candy from their home or anyone else's home.
If someone dispenses candy at their residence, the sex offender must remain in the background or out of sight.
How to register for email alerts:
Visit the SLPSO website at www.slpsheriff.com
Click on "search for Sex Offenders" under the How Do I tab
Click "locate Registered Sex Offenders"
Follow the instructions to check your neighborhood and sign up for email alerts
For more information, please call the St. Landry Parish Sex Offender Unit at 337-948-5254.
Acadia Parish Sheriff K.P. Gibson is also striving to make Halloween safe for local children. Read about his safety tips and guidelines for Halloween here.