TCSO urges parents to check sex offender website before Halloween
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is pushing Tulsans to get to know their neighbors, especially before Halloween.
There are more than 3,000 sex offenders in Oklahoma and there may be some in your neighborhood to be aware of.
The TCSO and several other law enforcement agencies use the website, Offender Watch, to track sex offenders.
"Wow, five offenders," Tommi Zeigler said.
Zeigler had typed her address into the Offender Watch website to see if any sex offenders lived nearby.
"I can't believe that that is really scary," Zeigler said. "I did not know it was there until you told me but I am really impressed that they have something like that."
But the fear of registered and unregistered sex offenders puts a bad taste in her mouth about Halloween.
"I've never been a fan of going door-to-door because I think it is ridiculous to teach our children to not talk to strangers or take candy from strangers, yet we take them out in the middle of the night to go door-to-door," Zeigler said.
The sheriff's office says sex offenders aren't allowed to go trick-or-treating but if a child comes to their door, they can hand out candy.
Just one of many reasons Chelsey Marshall will be checking the Offender Watch website before Halloween.
"Everyone, every parent should do that because it is very important to keep our kids safe," Marshall said.
Sergeant Randy Chapman says sex offenders are told to keep their lights off on Halloween.
But, sex offenders aren't the only ones to fear.
"Anytime you are going door-to-door you are always taking a risk," Chapman said.
Chapman reminds parents and kids to stay in well-lit neighborhoods, bring flashlights or glow sticks so cars can see you, never go into a strangers home and always wear comfortable shoes.
"So you aren't tripping and falling and that way you can get away, scream and run if you have to," Chapman said.
To see your neighborhood on the Offender Watch website, click here.
Once you get to the website, click the "search for offenders button" in the upper left corner, then type in your address and press search.