Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Halloween is a night of fun activities for many families – but it’s also a night of concern for law enforcement.
With children going from house to house, New York State parole officers want to make sure the children are safe from predators by going to sex offenders’ homes.
There are 663 registered sex offenders living in the city of Syracuse – and more than 200 living beyond the city limits in Onondaga County.
Many such offenders are on parole or on probation and they have to follow the same strict conditions on Halloween night. And law enforcement officers are on the streets making sure they are obeying the rules.
“The name of this Operation is Operation Halloween and our mission is to make sure all the children in the city of Syracuse who wish to go out are safe,” said New York State Parole Bureau Chief Kenneth Gilbert.
Sex offenders are forbidden from using Halloween decorations and they are not allowed to do anything that might make their home inviting to children.
“They are not allowed to dress up, they are not allowed to hand out candy and they are to be home and answer their door and answer the door only to their probation officer,” Gilbert said.
13-year veteran parole officer Jay Moss made numerous stops on Halloween night.
He normally has 25 offenders under his supervision year round.
“We have a specialized caseload, with officers that supervise nothing but sex offenders and this is our way of giving back to the community, to give people peace of mind knowing these guys are being supervised, that they are home,” said parole officer Jay Moss.