Crackdown on Sex Offenders on Halloween

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For many parents Halloween is more frightening for them than it is for their children.

For many it can be haunting not knowing who's behind the doors of the houses where kids are trick-or-treating.

"It's not like when we were kids when you could just say come home at dark. It's just not safe," said Stephanie Prichard, who is a mother of three.

This year parents in Tallahassee may not have to worry as much.

The Tallahassee Police Department is banning sex offenders from participating in Halloween.

"If you are at home you will not entice or lure any type of child to your house by either having Halloween candy on the front or decorating your house or lights will be turned out if you're home by yourself," said Tallahassee Police Officer John Newland.

If a sex offender is living in a home where someone else is handing out candy, officers say the offender is required to stay in a back room. If an offender is caught violating the rules, officers say they'll go straight to jail.

"I think it’s a great idea. I really do," said Elise Smith, who is a mother of four. " I had just received a link to the sex offender web site and I put my address in there and I was just amazed at how many are right around where we are and a lot of us would not be aware that a sex offender is right down the street so I think it's a great thing. It makes me feel good."

Police don't want residents to assume just because someone's lights are out that a sex offender lives in that home.

Some people may not be home or simply don't want to celebrate Halloween.

To visit the sex offender database, click on the following link: