Tulare Co. sex offenders on Halloween restriction

FRESNO, Calif.

Tulare County supervisors passed an ordinance forbidding all registered sex offenders in rural parts of the county-not to put up decorations or answer their doors Halloween night.

They say this is just an extra measure to make sure trick-or-treaters are safe this Halloween.

For many children, Halloween is full of fun dressing up as their favorite characters, hanging out with family and friends and going door to door asking neighbors for candy. This year, Tulare County hopes children don't knock on the wrong door.

"This is a measure that's designed to empower parents and protect children," Tulare Co. Supervisor Steve Worthley said.

Earlier this month, Tulare County supervisors passed an ordinance forbidding registered sex offenders living in unincorporated areas of the county to take part in certain Halloween festivities.

The sex offenders cannot answer their doors, put up Halloween decorations or turn on any outside lights between 5 p.m. and midnight on Halloween.

Sheriff's officials say they will have extra officers out enforcing the ordinance and patrolling the streets.

"We do have concerns on Halloween it is a busier night there are safety concerns with children being out on the street," Sgt. Chris Douglass said.

Some residents who don't celebrate Halloween have raised concerns they may be wrongly accused as sex offenders, and their homes vandalized Halloween night.

Parents we talked to said they're glad the ordinance is in place.

"Oh definitely it's a worry for me especially you know I don't know what they'd do," Linda Treadaway of Orosi said.

According the Tulare County Sheriff's office website, there are 13 sex offenders living within a mile of Orosi High School and 10 within El Monte Middle School.

The sheriff's office hopes parents will use their site and other online tools to track sex offenders living in their neighborhoods, especially on Halloween.

The county is following the footsteps of Orange County, who passed a similar ordinance this year.

Sex offenders who choose not to follow this ordinance could face up to 6 months in jail or $1,000 fine.

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