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El Paso County Sheriff's Office monitors sex offenders before Halloween
By: Stacey Welsh
EL PASO COUNTY, Texas -- The El Paso County Sheriff's Office said it is taking precautions to monitor registered sex offenders before Halloween.
"We do compliance checks and make sure that sex offenders are not displaying decorations," Detective E. Gutierrez said. Gutierrez asked that KFOX14 not use his full name or show his face on camera for safety reasons.
Gutierrez said sex offenders have one week to register with law enforcement when they move to a new area. The public can keep track of that registry and search for sex offenders in their area on the Texas Department of Public Safety's website.
"There you can enter your address and you can actually see how many sex offenders are in your neighborhood. It will give you the names and faces and everything that the community needs to be aware of," Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez is part of a unit that tracks registered sex offenders. He said members of his unit are checking up on them every 30-90 days. The sheriff's office also monitors sex offenders in conjunction with the El Paso Police Department, United States Marshals and the DPS.
One woman told KFOX14 she has seen groups of kids trick-or-treating without adult supervision in El Paso neighborhoods.
"The majority of the time, parents are just letting their kids walk around. The kids just run up to the house and get candy," west El Paso resident Rose Diaz said.
There are about 1,200 registered sex offenders in El Paso County and city limits. The sheriff's office said the highest concentration of registered sex offenders in the county's jurisdiction are in Horizon City and the Montana Vista area. The sheriff's office said there are currently about 50 in each area.
Gutierrez also said the sheriff's office looks to the community to report suspicious activity. It can then check into the report and make sure sex offenders are complying with state registry requirements. Contact the sheriff's offce non-emergency line at (915) 546-2280.