When my husband and I got a notice in the mail letting us know that a registered sex offender moved into a place a couple blocks from where we live, red flags popped up and we vowed to keep an even closer eye on our little guy, especially on Halloween night when the streets will be a little busier with lots of little people roaming them.

So what's the solution to the problem of sex offenders in our neighborhoods? The answer is something called "Operation Halloween." Operation Halloween was put into place by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and they're taking the safety of kids very seriously. Sex offenders under the supervision of DCCS will be closely monitored on Halloween night to help make sure that our kids and their parents can enjoy safe Halloween activities in our neighborhoods.

Under Operation Halloween, sex offender parolees are to remain in the home beginning in the early afternoon on Halloween, or immediately following the end of their work day or completion of an approved community program until 6am the day following Halloween. Parolees are not allowed to participate in any Halloween activity; not allowed to wear any costume, mask or other disguise; and cannot open the door to trick-or-treaters. Also, parolees are required to answer their phones as Parole Officers will be making calls throughout the night, as well as conducting unannounced curfew visits.

The state Division of Criminal Justice Services has also created a Facebook page to help parents access info about medium- and high-risk sex offenders living in our communities. The Sex Offender Locator Application is accessible via the New York State Public Safety Facebook page.

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