Jacksonville, FL - As you put the finishing touches on your child's Halloween costume, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office says it's crucial you and your kids know which houses to avoid when trick-or-treating.
They recommend researching neighborhoods and addresses near you, so you're aware of any sexual offenders or predators, via their website: www.sjso.org, by clicking the icon labeled OffenderWatch.
With Halloween just around the corner, here is an important safety tip! If the lights are not on at the house you are...Posted by St. Johns County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Commander Chuck Mulligan says there's also a county ordinance in place to keep you children safe on Halloween.
"Several years ago, St. Johns County enacted a county ordinance, which enables law enforcement to file charges against offenders or predators, if they do several things to entice children onto their property during Halloween," explains Mulligan.
As part of that ordinance, offenders are not allowed to have any decorations in their yard or home, they can't hand out candy, and they have to have their residential lighting off after 5:00 pm.
Offenders are also supposed to have a sign displayed on their front door or porch, letting people know NOT to trick-or-treat there.
Mulligan tells WOKV they also have have teams of deputies going out and checking that these rules are being followed throughout the county.
If offenders don't have the signs posted, we're told they will likely be charged.