Parents reminded to check sex offender website before taking children trick-or-treating

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Law enforcement officials are reminding parents to check their neighbors for registered sex offenders before taking their children out to trick-or-treat next week.

Offender Watch, an online sex offender registry network, has partnered with the Escondido Police Department and numerous other agencies in California to remind parents to search for offenders in their area.

The group encourages residents to check the registry for free online here. The service is also encouraging users to sign up for free email alerts.

"OffenderWatch and our partner sheriff offices and police departments in the state of California encourage citizens to have a fun and safe Halloween," Mike Cormaci, president and co-founder of OffenderWatch, said. "Knowledge is power, and knowing the most up-to-date residences of registered sex offenders empowers citizens to make safe decisions for their families."

According to the group, there are more than 104,000 sex offenders in California.

Residents can also search California's Megans Law website for offenders nearby by plugging in their address or searching the offender's name, or on the National Sex Offender website.

However, the Megans Law website said not all sex offenders will show up online as "only some registrants can be posted online. For those who can be posted, only some registrants can have their home addresses posted, others are posted by ZIP Code only. There is another category of offenders which is not posted on the public Website."

Still, parents are encouraged to check online and not to let their children go trick-or-treating by themselves.

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