By Jen Kastner
PERMIAN BASIN- There are more than 600 registered sex offenders in Midland and Ector Counties combined. That number only continues to grow. It begs the question, whose door is your child knocking on Wednesday night and can that person be trusted? NewsWest 9 sought out adult probation officers to see what safeguards will be put in place this year to be sure our trick-or-treaters are in good hands.
What makes Halloween a challenging night for many sex offenders, says J.E. Davenport with the Midland Judicial District Community Supervision & Correction Department, is that on that night, the kids come to them, knocking on their doors for attention. That's one of the reasons why all 71 sex offenders who are on probation in the Tall City will have to report to the probation office downtown from 6 p.m. to about 10 p.m.
"We'll break folks up into groups and ask them how things are and how [their] counseling is going or [how] their therapy going," Davenport said.
Probation officers will also make sure offenders' tracking devices are working properly.
"It's a good time for us to remind them that you're here because you made some bad decisions somewhere along the way and people suffered as a result," Davenport said.
The Ector County Adult Probation facility is doing the same type of roundup over the holiday evening but they're only requiring their 40 or so child sex offenders who on probation to sit in during trick-or-treat time. Additionally, only men are required to come in.
Ector County Adult Probation Officer, Laura Hall, said, "We do currently have three female sex offenders that we will let stay home and we'll go check on them."
Specialists advised their officers that it's best not to have the male and female offenders together during that time period.
Both counties tell NewsWest 9 their offenders are generally very compliant. The consequences of a 'no show' are severe.
"We'll issue a warrant and put them in jail that next day," Hall said.