Halloween: Parents and police check for sex offenders
In Rock Island County there are 264 registered sex offenders. Scott County Iowa has 317 registered offenders.
Every year, children go from door to door trick or treating. And every year, local police go door-to-door, checking for sex offender compliance.
The Sheriff of Rock Island County, Jeff Boyd, prepares every year for the spooky holiday.
“One of the things we do is compliance checks, we did one just three to four weeks ago,” said Boyd.
Those compliance checks involve officers going door-to-door, ensuring that sex offenders’ data is up to date. This includes their home and work address, and their contact information.
The Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department does a compliance check every three months. The State of Illinois only requires them to do one check per year.
Sheriff Jeff Boyd says there are particular circumstances that may make sex offenders feel targeted, but the law is the law.
“Sex offenders are prohibited from being involved with Halloween at all,” Boyd continued, “Whether that be dressing up in a costume, handing out candy or going with children trick-or-treating.”
Angela Portugue has four children who will all be trick or treating. She educated her children on places to avoid.
“In our area, I know where everyone of them (registered sex offenders) are, and so my kids and they know where they can’t go,” said Portugue.
Across the river in Scott County, Iowa, a compliance check was completed last week. Ninety-five percent of the offenders they checked were compliant. However, there were seven arrests made for non-registry violations.
The Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department says parents should always supervise children.
You can check the sex offender registries in Illinois and Iowa at these links: