TAMPA, FLA.- — Ahead of Halloween, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office conducted compliance checks. Deputies visit the homes of sexual predators and offenders.
Sexual offenders on probation cannot participate in Halloween activities. They are prohibited from handing out candy, displaying Halloween decorations, and leaving on their porch lights. A breach of any of these rules will result in an automatic violation. A deputy can also make an arrest on the probation violation.
"We have to make sure that their driver's license is properly updated with their current address and that their vehicles are properly registered. If there are different vehicles at their house, they have to make us aware of that. Those who are on probation cannot decorate their house, they can't get dressed in costume, give out candy. Of course, the goal is to make sure the children in the community are safe," Chief Deputy Donna Lusczynski.
These neighborhood checks are coordinated with the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC). In Hillsborough County, there are more than 2,000 registered sexual offenders and predators.
"This is a proactive approach to ensure your child's Halloween remains fun and safe," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "Last year, our deputies conducted 831 neighborhood checks. Detectives arrested 14 people as a result of those checks."
The sheriff's office said parents are also encouraged to visit the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's (FDLE) Sexual Offender and Predator database before their children go trick-or-treating Saturday. Upon entering your home address, the database provides the addresses of registered sexual offenders and predators near your neighborhood.
For more information visit: https://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/sops/home.jsf