Oct 27, 2013

Keep your child’s Trick or Treat activities safe

GREENVILLE – “Don’t let your child go unsupervised!”

While Greenville City Law Director Camille Baker offered additional information about keeping your child safe while Trick or Treating, the emphasis was on supervision by the parent or other responsible adult…

“Don’t let them go out by themselves,” she repeated.

Stay in your neighborhood, she added. Be cognizant of anyone you don’t know.

“Just having kids go out in groups isn’t good enough,” she said. “Kids can get separated from groups. Make sure a responsible adult is with the kids.”

Parents need to be aware there is no state law keeping sex offenders from handing out candy to kids; the responsibility is with the parent or guardian.

“The only time there might be a restriction would be from the individual’s parole or probation officer,” she said. “Even the court could specify this as part of the sentence… but the restriction would have to be from the court or an appointed officer.”

Baker noted parental concern shouldn’t be just about sex offenders. People can get focused on them but should be aware of all possibilities where their kids are involved.

“Razer blades were a big concern in the 70’s,” she said. “Nothing was ever said about sex offenders.”

The Darke County Sheriff’s Office has done its part in making sure parents can be safely informed before their kids go out to enjoy Trick or Treat this year.

Darke County has 88 registered sex offenders. The Sheriff’s Office, with the aid of 10 other teams, performed a sweep of all registered offenders to make sure they were in compliance with sex offender registration laws.

“It was no accident that the verification sweep occurred in close connection with upcoming Halloween events in Darke County,” Sheriff Toby Spencer said. “We wanted the compliance checks to occur so that Darke County residents could be informed of the most current and accurate information available.”

Click on the website (www.darkecountysheriff.org/) then find the “Sex Offender” list on the left. Type in your address to see who in your area is registered.

The press release noted there was one sex offender currently listed at large, and there’s an ongoing investigation in the case. Three additional offenders were discovered to be non-compliant, however their current locations have been established and are updated. Investigations into their non-compliance will be investigated and forwarded to the prosecutor. One, Michael Bunger, was arrested for failure to notify and living within 1000 feet of a school. A second, Charles Robbins, was arrested on a warrant for a probation violation.

Four out of 88 were non-compliant; a rate of 4.6 percent. The U.S. Marshall’s office says the non-compliance rate in most areas is about 10 percent.

Spencer said random checks will continue in the future. Offenders found not to be in compliance will be dealt with according to the law.

Agencies involved in the sweep were Darke County Sheriff’s Office, United States Marshall’s Service, Greenville Police Department, Ohio Adult Parole Authority, Darke County Adult Probation Department, Ansonia Police Department, Arcanum Police Department and Union City Police Department.


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