More than a dozen patrol officers are spending Halloween checking up on roughly 600 Central New York sex offenders. The 600 offenders span an area as far as Watertown to the north, Utica to the east, Cortland to the south and Seneca to the west.
In Syracuse, Patrol Officer Jason Jasniewski and Senior Patrol Officer Margie Montfort are monitoring some of those offenders.
All offendersâ?? residences must be dark and decoration free. Offenders cannot open their doors for trick-or-treaters or possess any type of costume, and they must stay in their homes until 7am on Friday morning.
â??Itâ??s not okay to break the rules on any other day, but tonight itâ??s going to be more intensified, and thereâ??s going to be more of a magnifying glass on them,â?? said Jasniewski.
Parole officers visit each offender for a few minutes, making sure theyâ??re complying with the rules.
â??Iâ??d say 99% of the time, itâ??s pretty routine, and theyâ??re in full compliance,â?? said Jasniewski.
The visits are considered a proactive approach to stop anything from happening. In the past, there have been very few offenses.
â??Weâ??ve caught people handing out candy, maybe,â?? said Montfort. â??Itâ??s not an offender necessarily trying to attract children to their residence, but more like they live with their family, and their family is participating in Halloween and itâ??s a little awkwardâ?¦More often than not, we have somebody miss the earlier, bumped-up curfew.â??
The officers say the increased monitoring is for the communityâ??s safety. â??The night is about the children and about families,â?? said Jasniewski. â??And weâ??re out there just stepping it up so the community can stay safe and the children can have a fun night.â??