Who's Behind the Mask This Halloween?

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On Halloween last year, many states provided programs to keep convicted sex offenders off the streets. Find out what they did. FamilyBeacon.com can show parents a way to map out a Trick-Or-Treat route to see how safe it is at http://www.familybeacon.com.

these are often normal, average, next door neighbors. Respected members of society. Teachers, doctors, clergymen.

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In days past, the biggest worries at Halloween were cavities. Today, the threat of sex offenders lurks in the back of every parent's mind when their children walk out the door. With this eerie holiday approaching, http://www.FamilyBeacon.com provides a convenient way for parents nationwide to steer their families clear of child predators.

Authorities are always on the lookout for sex offenders around children, but many officials assert that there just isn't enough manpower or funds to keep over 300,000 convicted sex offenders nationwide under wraps. Where public services fall short, every family's best defense is being informed. At http://www.FamilyBeacon.com, you can map out a child's safe Halloween route to determine if any registered sex offenders live in that area. The convenient display will provide a visual of the locations of each registered offender in the area, complete with links to the state registry for everyone to learn the degree of the offender's crime.

The frightening fact is that sex offenders do not need to wear masks during Halloween to get close to your children. As Chris Hansen, from Dateline's "To Catch A Predator," and Allan Maraynes, Dateline's Senior Producer, have found out:"these are often normal, average, next door neighbors. Respected members of society. Teachers, doctors, clergymen." It is more important than ever to know who lives in your neighborhood.

Authorities realize Halloween can be a tempting time for sex offenders to prey on children. Last year, officials nationwide took drastic measures to ensure that children would not be knocking at the door of a convicted sex offender during Halloween. Many states, like New Jersey, confined convicted sex offenders to their homes and prohibited them from opening their doors on Halloween night. Communities in states like Westchester County, New York set up mandatory educational programs at local community centers for convicted sex offenders to attend on Halloween night. Check with your local Department of Corrections, or Department of Criminal Justice to see if your state has similar programs for convicted sex offenders.

Authorities suggest that children Trick-Or-Treat in groups, and that at least one adult travels with each group. Make sure each child is equipped with a flashlight, light stick, light colored costume, and reflective tape on the costume, shoes, or treat bag. This way it will be easier to keep track of your Ghosts and Goblins, even from a short distance. The glowing attire also keeps them safer by forcing oncoming cars to notice them sooner.

Be aware of any suspicious activities in your neighborhood, and make sure to report anything that is out of the ordinary for normal Halloween fun. Also, visit http://www.FamilyBeacon.com for more tips on keeping your Trick-or-Treater safe.

As a parent, you can never be 100% sure that your children are going to be safe on Halloween, but the more knowledge you have about where they are going and who they are going to be around, the better off your child is going to be.

FamilyBeacon.com will give you the information you need to plan a safer route for your children's Halloween entertainment.



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Scott Udy