Police Monitor Sex Offenders On Halloween - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Police Monitor Sex Offenders On Halloween

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DELMARVA - While children across Delmarva were out trick or treating Halloween night, law enforcement officers also hit the streets, but they weren't out there looking for candy, they were out there monitoring convicted sex offenders.

And the reason police across the Eastern Shore conduct their special Halloween patrols is to make sure sex offenders are following the rules, and staying away from your kids.

It's against policy of the parole department for the media to ride along as they visit convicted sex offenders, but we did ride along with another Wicomico County Deputy as he patrolled on Halloween.

In 2005, Maryland joined a number of other states, including Delaware and Virginia, placing Halloween restrictions on sex offenders.

"They're to be at home between the hours of 6 and 10, and that their porch light is out," says St. Mark Wagner of the Wicomico County Sheriff's Dept.
     
Along with the restrictions, signs saying there isn't candy available at the home are given out to violent and child-sex offenders across Maryland for the one night kids go up to strangers homes asking for candy.

Police say the yearly patrol isn't meant to put parents on edge, "I don't see there being a lot of concern as there's somebody behind the door that's gonna snatch you," says 1st Dep.. John Seichepine with the Wicomico County Sheriff's Department.

If police do come across a sex offender who isn't following through with those rules, they would be in violation of their parole, but according to the Wicomico County Sheriff's Department, they haven't seen any issues since the program started, but parents we spoke to admit, that fear of what could be lurking is part of what draws many families to some of the more structured Halloween events.

While the curfew for Maryland sex offenders ended at 10 PM, a letter delivered to sex offenders in Delaware notified them that the curfew in the First State stretches to 6 o'clock, November 1st.  A form each sex offender was required to sign and return.

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