WZTV FOX 17 - Top Stories
On this Halloween night, La Vergne police are getting tough on sex offenders.
They're reminding them to stay away from children, and building awareness in the community.
It's a move police believe will make a difference now, and in the future.
There's an established Halloween routine at the Dean house in La Vergne.
"He'll take her most of the way around the neighborhood, and then he'll come back and I'll take her to a little ways," says mother Ginger Dean.
On a night when kids roam the streets, the question is often who is answering the door.
"You just never know what's going on and who lives where," says Dean.
The La Vergne police department is coming up with a unique approach...
"We want them to know so that their children are safe," says La Vergne Police Chief Mike Walker.
The city's new chief decided to post the names and pictures of all 33 registered sex offenders in La Vergne on the department's website.
Offenders on probation or parole and those who've victimized children, are prohibited from participating in Halloween.
"Not to wear costumes, not to decorate, not to have trick or treaters come into their house, porch lights on, etc, etc," says Chief Walker.
La Vergne police have spent the past few days verifying the addresses of the people on the list. We also decided to knock on doors.
We checked a random sampling of addresses and found offenders were home and aware of the rules.
Detectives have also raised awareness about the convicted offenders inside the department.
"So in case they come across them in everyday situations they can check up on that person," says Det. Bob Hayes with the La Vergne Police Department.
Police hope the more information people know, the safer the community will be.
Residents seem eager to review the list, so they know who really lives next door.
"Make sure that her and her friends are aware, and everyone should look at their website," says Ginger Dean.
La Vergne police believe this effort will pay off for months to come.
They say all the officers, from the patrolmen to the chief, are much more familiar with the sex offenders in their community.
For news updates follow John Dunn on twitter @WZTVJohnDunn
Wednesday, October 31 2012, 09:27 PM CDT
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