GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – As trick-or-treaters make their way from door to door on Halloween night looking for candy, the Department of Corrections is teaming up with police to make sure children are safe when it comes to known predators.
For the past several years, the DOC and Green Bay Police Department have made random compliance visits to registered sex offenders in the city to make sure they’re following the rules on Halloween night.
During the official trick-or-treat hours, which in Green Bay is from 4 to 7 p.m., registered sex offenders are required to be inside their homes one hour before it begins and one hour after it ends — from 3 to 8 p.m.
Registered offenders are not allowed to have decorations up or any lights on outside to make sure no trick-or-treaters are drawn to their residence.
In Brown County, there are a total of 617 registered sex offenders; 253 of them are under active supervision by the DOC.
The DOC says it expected to do about 70 home compliance checks. We’re told the rest are at work and verified through their employer to make sure they’re indoors.
“It’s to ensure safety so that the families can go out with their children and feel safe knowing that these individuals that are part of the registry are indoors, lights off, they are not to be participating in Halloween activities,” Department of Corrections field supervisor Mary Kay Tallier said.
These home checks aren’t meant to scare parents into thinking there are any threats, it’s just to make sure the rules are being followed.
“Honestly, that’s amazing,” said Tiffany Gwinn, a mother who was out trick-or-treating with her kids. “This is prime target for sex offenders so this is really awesome they are stepping up and taking action.”
“I do like the fact that they are going to check people’s houses, you know, just for the safety of the children,” said Tiese Luepnitz, a mother who was out trick-or-treating with her kids.
Tallier said during the compliance checks Monday night, two registered sex offenders were taken into custody for not following the rules, and the DOC issued three arrest warrants for offenders who were not home as required during the compliance check.