Keeping the scary streets safe

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It's the spookiest night of the year. A knock at the door. Thud, Thud, Thud! Thud, thud, thud! "Who is it?" Response? Not the "trick or treat" you expected, but "Probation Department."

That's the scenario that played out at more than 80 homes in Yavapai County on Halloween night. As the ghosts and goblins trolled the streets of Prescott looking for tricks and treats, Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies and probation officers checked up on sex offenders. The "neither trick nor treat" program is in its' second year and had more than 36 personnel making sure no sex offenders were in violation of their probation. As the officers set out for the evening the message was clear, sex offenders were not to hand out candy, decorate their homes, wear costumes, or even have their lights on which might attract kids. By passing by the more than 80 homes, you would be able to determine whether any of the violations were being committed. However, the probation officers made it a point to make contact with the sex offenders. According to Chief Probation officer Billie Grobe not only were they going to make contact, but they would enter the home to look around.

We spoke with a level two sex offender who said "No kids had come by his house and he had hoped they wouldn't." He described the evening without trick or treaters as keeping him safe, as well as society. At one sex offender's house we visited, there was a "Do not disturb" sign from a local hotel posted on his door knob.

This cooperative event was a huge success with no sex offenders found in violation of their probation. The Yavapai County Sheriff's Department in conjunction with the Probation Department plan to hold this event every year allowing the trick or treaters the spend Halloween gathering as much candy as possible, instead of worrying about being preyed upon.