LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - As trick or treaters take to the streets this Halloween weekend so will Calcasieu Sheriff's deputies. They'll be checking up on Calcasieu's more than 300 registered sex offenders to make sure they are in compliance.
"We find people who are not in compliance all the time and we arrest them and book them into the jail for not complying," said Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso. "We want to ensure that our children are safe. We don't want them to have any problems. We also don't want our sex offenders to have any problems either. We want them to do what they are required by law to do and as long as they do that - they're not going to have a problem from us."
Louisiana state law restricts sex offenders from wearing a hood, mask or disguise of any kind during Halloween. They are also prohibited from handing out candy to any persons under eighteen years of age.
In addition to state law the Sheriff's Office is also recommending sex offenders do the following:
Remain at their primary residence from the hours of 5:00 PM and 6:00 AM on Halloween.
Turn off all exterior lights.
Post the "No Candy at this Residence" sign as instructed.
Do not answer the door for "Trick or Treaters."
If any type of Halloween type activity (Fall Festival, Hayrides, corn maze or church related activities) scheduled on a date other than Halloween, you should not participate.
Residents can also find out where all registered sex offenders live in Calcasieu Parish by logging on to the Louisiana State Sex Offender Registry web site. There is also a new cell phone application that uses GPS tracking to tell you which homes to avoid.
"We are going to check on our sex offenders - that's the law. We are doing everything that the law allows us to do to ensure that they are where they are, and doing and complying with the state laws we have in Louisiana," said Mancuso.
Sex offenders who violate the Halloween laws could face jail time of up to three years.