Sheriff says check the sex offender registry before taking kids trick-or-treating

(Radio Iowa) – Sex offenders have been known to lure children in with offers of candy. But on Halloween, children may unknowingly be walking right up to the doors of sex offenders, asking for that candy. Iowa has no state law restricting a sex offender’s actions on Halloween.

Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner says if there were a state law, making sure everyone was following the rules would place a great deal of strain on law enforcement. “The enforcement is a bigger concern for us. With 322 people that are required to be registered through the sheriff, that’s a lot of people for us to keep a lookout for on one evening,” Gardner said.

Instead, Sheriff Gardner encourages parents to go online to the Iowa Sex Offender Registry. You can plug in your address and see where all the sex offenders in the area live, so you know which houses to avoid while trick or treating.

The Iowa Department of Corrections does have restrictions for sex offenders who are on probation. They are not allowed to take children trick or treating and can’t open their door to trick or treaters. There is also a curfew in place. Enforcement of that is up to parole officers.