COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Halloween is upon us. It's a day children—and many adults—look forward to all year long.
It means costumes, candy and neighborhood fellowship. All the fun also comes with a word of caution for parents. Be aware of sex offenders in your neighborhood.
It used to be the biggest thing parents had to worry about was checking for suspicious looking candy or making sure kids were using a flashlight.
Our neighbors were also our friends and safety wasn't as big of a concern. That's not necessarily the case now. In 2017, parents need to do more.
Once again this year, there will be a curfew for people under supervision for a sex offense. They are barred from participating in Halloween activities.
However, it does not apply to all registered sex offenders.
Last year, The Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon services sent out 165 personnel on Halloween. They made a total of 417 sex offender residence checks and made hundreds of landline phone checks statewide.
But you must also do your part. The state law enforcement division has a site for you to check for sex offenders in your neighborhood. The address is on your screen. You can also find it on WIS social media apps. Do yourself a favor and check. You may be very surprised at just how many live near you, as we were when we checked the one mile radius surrounding the WIS studios at 1111 Bull Street. Also, make sure you accompany your children or ensure they are with a group of people you trust.
Our message isn't to scare anyone. Just do your homework ahead of time to make sure Halloween stays a night of ghostly fun.
That's my take, What's yours?