Whether you’re taking your kids trick-or-treating or they’re venturing through the neighborhood on their own this Halloween, Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s want you to be aware of possible sex offenders on the route.
Officials have been conducting their annual “Operation Watchful Eye,” campaign, a sex offender verification process, the sheriff’s office announced Tuesday.
There are 1,068 sex offenders in Mecklenburg County, according to multiple media reports.
The office has been verifying the addresses of sex offenders in the county since last week, officials said. They’ve verified 887 as of Oct. 26.
“We want parents to feel safe when they send their little ones out trick-or-treating on Halloween,” Sheriff Irwin Carmichael said in a press release.
Officials verified 84 percent of sex offenders in the county in the days leading up to Halloween last year, according to Fox 46, and the office continued to make contact with remaining sex offenders after the holiday.
Parents are urged to check ahead of time the state investigation agency’s sex offender registry, where they can see where registered sex offenders live around a given address. Parents can also use the federal justice department’s app at nsopw.gov to find where sex offenders live.
Offenders in many cases are allowed to hand out candy, WCNC reported, so Carmichael wants residents to be vigilant.
“They have every right to leave the lights on and they can give out candy,” he told the station. “But that’s why I always say utilize technology.”
LaVendrick Smith; 704-358-5101; @LaVendrickS