ABILENE, Texas — Halloween is rapidly approaching and a top priority for parents is keeping their children safe. For over 20 years Taylor County has hosted a program called Lights Out to make trick-or-treating safer.
“Everyone that’s on probation who is a sex offender they have to come that night from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.,” Rikki Flores said. “Doesn’t matter what day Halloween is on they are required to be here during those hours.”
The licensed sexual offender treatment provider said approximated 140 sex offenders will be at the Taylor County Courthouse on the night of Halloween.
“We’ll do UA’s, drug testing, and a Think It Over video,” Flores said. “The main idea of it all is so they won’t be home getting these incidental contacts with children if they were to come over their house and do trick-or-treating.”
According to Flores many years ago sex offenders who were on probation in Taylor County were told to stay home on Halloween, not pass out candy, and to not answer the door. Some sex offenders were not following the rules.
“The main idea is community safety,” Flores explained. “Some of these guys have some risk of reoffending.”
Although the Lights Out program has been affective not all sex offenders will be at the courthouse on the night of Halloween.
“Please utilize the DPS websites because not every sex offender is here that night,” Flores said. “Just the ones one probation. Last time I looked the sex offender registry was up to about 5 or 600.”