Extra Watch when Trick or Treating
by: Pat Hernandez, October 30, 2009 3:10:51 pm
There are roughly 54-thousand registered sex offenders n the state of Texas and 57-hundred of them live in Harris County. This Halloween authorities will keep a watchful eye on them.
"I think it's very important, that we don't wait for our children to be victimized."
That's Harris County Precinct-6 constable Victor Trevino. A Halloween Sex Offender Initiative is a collaboration between his office, Harris County Community Supervision and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Parole Division. It will help ensure parolees and probationers are in compliance.
"By either making sure that if they have a fence, that its locked, their lights will be off, they're not to open the doors to any youngsters. Any violation of these guidelines will be reported to parole and probation."
Winifred Dean is with the Harris County Probation Department. She says they supervise some 900 sex offenders.
"We monitor our offenders throughout the whole year. During the month of Halloween, we beef up the efforts by collaborating with Precinct-6, Precinct-7, HPD and other local law enforcement agencies, to help us monitor the sex offenders that we supervise. We want to ensure all of them have been given guidelines, instructing them not to participate in any Halloween activities, and during that month we monitor that, to make sure that they're adhering to those guidelines."
Constable Trevino says members of his Sex Offenders Task Force have been driving from one offender's house to the next to ensure they are following the terms of their probation or parole.
"All of them should be very aware, and what should happen Saturday, is the patrol officer should drive by their location, see the lights are off, if they have a fence, it's locked. They don't have any decorations. They're in compliance. So not only is it important for us to monitor their location, but for the families to see there's extra patrol in their area, so that we are not just concerned with the sex offenders, but complete safety factors taken into consideration."
More than a hundred constable deputies will be patrolling the streets of Houston's East End Halloween night.
PH, KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.