Ahead of Halloween and trick-or-treating this weekend, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister and deputies will be conducting compliance checks at the homes of registered sexual offenders today, October 27, 2020. These neighborhood checks are coordinated with the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC).
Sexual offenders on probation cannot participate in Halloween activities, whatsoever. They are prohibited from handing out candy, displaying Halloween decorations and leaving on their porch lights. A breach of any of these rules will result in an automatic violation. A deputy can also make an arrest on the probation violation. In Hillsborough County, there are more than 2,000 registered sexual offenders and predators.
“Our deputies will be going door-to-door to make sure registered sexual offenders and predators in your neighborhoods don’t interfere with your child’s Halloween fun,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “Last year, our deputies conducted 424 neighborhood checks, and all but one was in compliance. That individual was arrested for having Halloween decorations outside of their home. This proactive approach is done with your child’s safety first in mind.”
Parents are also encouraged to visit the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) Sexual Offender and Predator database before their children go trick-or-treating Saturday. Upon entering your home address, the database provides the addresses for registered sexual offenders and predators near your neighborhood. FDLE’s database can be accessed here.
This afternoon’s compliance checks are open to the media. Outlets interested in shadowing Sheriff Chronister are asked to RSVP at PIOCommandCenter@hcso.tampa.fl.us.
Media outlets will meet at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office District I office, located at 14102 N. 20th Street in Tampa at 3:00 p.m.Sheriff Chronister will provide reporters with interviews before the compliance checks take place today. A list of the stops will also be provided once your RSVP is received.
Sheriff Chronister has also recorded a PSA to share some additional reminders for parents and guardians this Halloween. It can be viewed on HCSO’s YouTube page below.