Probation officers sweep up child sex offenders before Halloween - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Probation officers sweep up child sex offenders before Halloween

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(CBS 8) - Keeping sex offenders away from children on Halloween is a big concern for police as kids set out to trick-or-treat. But crimefighters are working to stay one step ahead to make sure children stay safe.

There are over 2600 sex offenders in San Diego County, a portion of which are considered to be the most dangerous of child predators. Friday night probation officers paid a visit to some in an effort to protect kids this Halloween.

San Diego County probation officers spent Friday night visiting known Level 1 and mid-range child sex offenders in the North County who may have inviting decorations up for Halloween.

"They're very high risk. Yes it's just entices kids and it's a vicious circle, and they're more likely to re-offend," said Terry Fink the Senior Probation Officer with the San Diego County Probation Department.

Fink and his partners knocked on about 20 so-called targets for a third reminder to them to not put up decorations or hand out candy.

"They've all been warned. We've sent letters to them we've followed up with phone calls saying get rid of it we don't want to see it," noted Fink.

In fact, one pumpkin outside an offender's residence is a violation under the terms of probation.

"We don't want anything that will draw kids even close to the house," Fink explained.

After a quick search of the home, everything else appears within the set guidelines.

"He's going to post a sign that there's going to be no candy, no nothing out tomorrow night," Fink said.

At this home, a sign to Fink and his team that the proactive work they've done this year is working.

"He said his wife went out and bought a number of decorations and so forth, and they received our letter we sent out. He told wife here's our letter so she had to take it all back," continued Fink.

Fink admits he could be at home with his family instead of working late, but knows how important it is to try and protect San Diego Counties' little ghosts and goblins this Halloween.

"Absolutely it's a small price to pay to make sure we feel safe you feel safe," Fink added.

Parents can check to see where sex offenders are located, before heading out to trick-or-treat. Click here to see if there are any offenders in your neighborhood.

The sex offenders who are visited give up their fourth amendment right to search and seizure as part of their conviction.

Fink also says he and his team visit the higher risk offenders in Level 1 several times, both at home and work to make sure they're staying within the probation guidelines.

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