ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. – Rockland County is taking steps to make Halloween a little safer.
It’s a time when children are often out and about after dark and interacting with people they don’t know well.
The Rockland County Probation Department announced this week that it is enforcing special measures to prevent registered sex offenders from coming into contact with children.
The county monitors 67 sex offenders.
Many, but not all, of their crimes require them to be listed on the sex offender registry, said Kathleen Tower-Bernstein, director of the county’s Probation Department.
The measures cover “Gate Night,” aka Mischief Night, the night before Halloween, when some children and teens engage in pranks and minor vandalism, such as festooning houses with bathroom tissue.
The county has enforced special rules for Halloween for more than a decade, Tower-Bernstein said.
Sex offenders monitored by the Probation Department are given a contract for those days, Oct. 30 and Oct. 31.
They must obey curfews and are prohibited from engaging in any Halloween-related activities, including opening doors for trick-or-treaters or accompanying children as they trick-or-treat.
Probation officers, in conjunction with the Rockland County Sheriff's Department, will conduct compliance checks.
"Anyone found to be in violation of their contract will be returned to court for further action," Tower-Bernstein said.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day is urging parents to supervise their children and make them aware of potentially dangerous situations.
"We want kids to have fun on Halloween, which can happen as long as parents and children use common sense," he said. "Our probation and law enforcement officers are doing their part to minimize the risks."