The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office is rounding up all the sex offenders on probation, requiring them to come to the jail Friday during prime trick-or-treating hours.
Law enforcement officials are trying to ease the minds of parents and keep children safe.
It’s all about being proactive and making sure the children are safe while they go door-to-door, according to Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie.
From 6-9 p.m., only the sex offenders who are on probation will be required to report to the Effingham County Jail. The sheriff’s office has been doing this for nearly five years with the help of probation officers and the sex offender registrar office.
The sheriff’s office is expecting nearly 50 sex offenders to report as part of their probation. They will not be allowed to bring magazines, books or computers.
“This gives parents peace of mind, and sex offenders cannot be accused of something they are not doing if they are at our office,” said ECSO spokesman Detective David Ehsanipoor. “If there is a temptation for them to do something to someone, they are at our office and that temptation is not there.”
Expect trick-or-treaters to begin just before sundown. The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office will be bringing in extra deputies whose primary focus will be patrolling neighborhoods to ensure a good and safe Halloween.
When driving, be alert and aware there will be extra pedestrian traffic. The speed limit in most residential neighborhoods is 25 mph, but when children are out trick-or-treating, it’s a good idea to drive even slower.
Also, some children may be difficult to see if they are wearing dark costumes. Some kids who are wearing masks will have an obstructed view of cars.
If older kids are going out trick-or-treating on their own, remind them about crossing streets properly and safely. Also, make sure they carry flashlights and use reflective tape or stickers on costumes and treat bags. Never let the little ones go trick-or-treating without a trustworthy and responsible adult.
Remind children to never go into a stranger’s house or even stop and speak with a stranger on the street when out trick-or-treating. Explain that some adults are bad and want to hurt children and that they should never get into a car or go anywhere with a stranger. But if this should this happen, tell them to scream as loud as they can and to run away as fast as they can to someplace safe.
Be safe and smart before the fun even starts. Help young children pick out or make a costume that will be safe. Make sure that it is fireproof. If they are wearing a mask of any kind, make sure that the eye holes are large enough for good peripheral vision.
“Simply going over these common sense tips with your kids can make for a safe and fun holiday,” Ehsanipoor said. “Dressing up yourself and going out trick-or-tricking with the kids is also a great way to enjoy the fun while making sure the youngsters are safe.”
The city of Rincon has designated its trick-or-treating hours as Friday from 6-9 p.m.