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TPD conducts compliance checks on sexual predators this Halloween

Officers ensuring predators don't entice children
Posted at 7:08 PM, Oct 31, 2016

The Tampa Police Department issued an important reminder for parents before taking their kids out for trick or treating: know which houses to skip. 

Police arrested James Mills Sunday night because he's a sex offender who failed to register with the state. 

Florida Department of Law Enforcement's sex offender/sexual predator registry is a resource officers say is vital for parents for Halloween.

About 20 Tampa officers went door-to-door for a city-wide compliance check Halloween night. 

According to Det. John Guzina, there are about 850 registered offenders in Tampa. 

The compliance check focuses specifically on those deemed sexual predators, who have committed crimes against children and are under felony supervision.

"We want to make sure that those individuals that do prey on children are going to have some watchful eyes on them," said Det. Guzina.

ABC Action News has learned, officers are checking in on 247 sexual predators this Halloween, that number is up from 180 last year. 

The compliance checks come as a relief for mother Azalia Rodriguez, who has a number of sex offenders living near her family. 

Rodriguez says she doesn't allow her teenage daughter to go door-to-door trick-or-treating anymore.

"First and foremost, you don't know who whose door you're knocking on," said Rodriguez.

State law forbids sexual predators from participating in Halloween activities.  They are not allowed to hand out candy, put up Halloween decorations that could attract children, or answer the door for trick-or-treaters.