By Abby Reed
MIDLAND - Contrary to popular belief, state law does not keep all sex offenders from handing out candy on Halloween. According to Midland Police, if registered sex offenders are not on probation, they can give the candy out to anyone they want.
Currently, under state law, if a registered sex offender is on probation, and the terms stipulate so, they are not allowed to hand out candy to trick or treaters.
"If they are registered sex offender, and they're discharged, there's nothing we can do," Sgt. David Garcia with Midland Police Department, said.
Discharged means a sex offender may have already finished serving their sentence and are no longer on probation.
"They're available, to give out candy and participate, just like anybody else," Garcia said.
However, just because they can, doesn't mean they should, according to Midland Police. Discharged or not, officers say it's probably a good idea to avoid all registered sex offender's homes this Halloween.
The city has a sex offender website which lists all registered sex offenders and their addresses.
"Even though they've been discharged, they still have to register, so it will give them a print out of what houses to avoid," Garcia said.
Police say the website is a good resource for keeping up with offenders in your neighborhood. They say nothing can substitute good parenting.
"There are some mean people out there that are trying to hurt you or your kids, and you can't just take it for granted that it's safe out there," Garcia said.
Locating nearby registered sex offenders is just a click away. You can find the online listing by visiting www.midlandtexas.gov and clicking "locate sex offenders."