Local News

Authorities Keep Sex Offenders In Check On Halloween

Posted October 31, 2006

— While local children went door to door Tuesday evening to collect Halloween candy, Cumberland County authorities planned to go door to door themselves to check on dozens of sex offenders.

About 110 sex offenders are under probation or parole supervision in the county, authorities said.

  • N.C. Sex Offender Registry

    Susan Butler was planning to take her 5-year-old grandson, Layton, trick-or-treating Tuesday when she got a trick of her own -- she learned that a neighbor was a registered sex offender.

    "I think I'm astounded to the fact that I think I know all my neighbors, and here I find that two doors down the street is a registered sex offender," Butler said.

    Authorities across North Carolina were expected to make random visits to registered offenders' homes Tuesday night, making sure their porch lights remained off and they didn't contact any children. Some counties required local offenders to go to a central location to ensure no problems would occur.

    Paul Hatch, Cumberland County's chief parole officer, urged parents to routinely check the state's registry of sex offenders online. By entering a ZIP code, people can see a list of offenders in that area, along with their home addresses.

    But on Halloween, Hatch's officers planned to monitor only a third of the county's 381 sex offenders listed.

    "They may have been under supervision at one time, but they completed their probationary sentence or just maxed out their prison time, and they are not under any supervision at all," he said.

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