City ordinance aims to protect trick-or-treaters from sex offenders

City ordinance aims to protect trick-or-treaters from sex offenders
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 4:10pm

Cameron, Starr, and Hidalgo Counties have a system in place for keeping certain sex offenders off the street on Halloween, but only a few cities in the Valley do even more to protect kids on Halloween.

In August 2012, Edinburg passed a city ordinance with the support of Police Chief Castañeda that dictates certain restrictions for sex offenders on Halloween.

In this ordinance, any registered sex offender that is not ordered by probation or parole to report to a specific location on Halloween must follow a set of rules that the ordinance sets out.

"It is due to the number of sex offenders that we have in the city," said Edinburg Police spokesperson Lt. Oscar Treviño.  "This ordinance was researched, it was presented to the city council and the mayor, and it was adopted.  It's into effect and we are gonna enforce it strictly."

The ordinance demands three main rules that every registered sex offender in Edinburg must obey: first, they must remain in their residence between 4:00 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.  They are aalso required to leave all exterior lights off.  Lastly, a sign must be clearly displayed at their residence that reads "NO CANDY."

"We not only will have an increase in police patrols, but we will also have police officers paying home visits to make sure these registered sex offenders are in compliance," explained Treviño.

Edinburg police want to remind the public that this ordinance is not meant to worry anyone.  It is a precaution created to ensure a safe night of trick-or-treating for families.

"There is always the possibility the specific sex offender may pose a threat to one of our citizens," Treviño stated.  "We just want to make sure that our citizens have a safe Halloween and that these kids have happy memories, not tragic memories."

The Texas DPS has an option for the public to find out where and how many sex offenders live in their area.  Click this link and enter the zip code you wish to search.

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