Kids across the bay area are busy getting their Halloween costumes ready. And in Tampa, police are getting ready, too. Every year, the criminal tracking unit visits the city's nearly 800 sexual offenders and predators, making sure they know what not to do on Halloween.
Det. John Guzina has been on this patrol before. He hand -delivers fliers around town in the two weeks leading up to October 31st.
"Basically, we're out there trying to monitor them. Let them know we're out here," he said. "We take a lot of pride, myself and my partner, in monitoring them and making sure they stay in compliance."
Restrictions can vary from case to case, depending on court-ordered probation requirements and the crimes committed. But, for the most part, offenders and predators aren't allowed to put up Halloween decorations, or in any way entice kids to come to their doors. This mission doesn't just keep kids safe, it also helps these individuals stay out of trouble.
"We're trying to enable them to stay within their probation requirements," Guzina said.
Guzina said, in his experience, most people comply with the rules. He doesn't remember any arrests being made last Halloween. And that's how he wants it to be this year, too. He said 28 officers will be on patrol in the criminal tracking unit next Wednesday night, keeping an eye on predators and offenders during trick or treating.
"The overall focus is to keep children safe, especially on a night when there's so many of them outdoors," Guzina said.
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