By Wyatt Goolsby
ODESSA - When your little ghosts and goblins are out on Saturday looking for treats, Authorities are making sure registered sex offenders don't answer the door. However, even strict laws against sex offenders can't keep every single one off the streets this Halloween.
"Every Halloween, you know, everybody gets interested in the sex offenders," Roy Harrison, Ector County Sex Offender Supervisor, said on Thursday. "The registered sex offenders. Well, what are you going to do? Are they going to be off the streets? Are you going to protect our children?"
Harrison said he hears those concerns every Halloween, but the plan is the same every year. Officers will hold registered child sex offenders who are on probation away from neighborhoods and trick or treaters. The only difference will be a weekend Halloween.
"This year Halloween is on a Saturday," Harrison explained. "The kids are probably going to be out longer. So, we will probably keep them from 8 o'clock to 11 o'clock or later."
Harrison said in the last few years, the program has worked well for Ector County. One reminder though: officers said if a sex offender has completed probation and has been released, there's nothing stopping them from handing out candy on Halloween.
"The only thing that law enforcement does, is if you live in the county, the Sheriff's Offices or if you live in the city the Police Department, is they can do registration checks," Harrison added. "They can go by those residences, but as far as following those strict rules that you would have to follow being on probation, they have no authority to do that."
Authorities said this Halloween, they'll do their job. They urge parents to do theirs by keeping a close eye on their children.
"Don't just worry about the registered sex offenders, worry about that sex offender out there that hadn't been caught yet," Harrison said. "Because they're here and they're in every community no matter how large or small."
Harrison said Ector County has roughly 250 registered sex offenders, including ones on probation, parole, or neither. Authorities across the state have urged parents to check offender registries online.