HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - On Halloween night, you want to know your family is safe. South Carolina probation officers hit the streets to ensure that safety. WMBF got to ride along with them to see first-hand what it takes to keep track of sex offenders.
There are more than 1,000 sex offenders in Horry County, and with young trick-or-treaters out and about, probation agents were zeroed in on the ones that have a past criminal history involving children.
Rich Loskill with the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon services said, "We're going to Loris, Bucksport, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Garden City, Socastee, you name it, we're going to be out in the community tonight working."
So around 6 p.m. Friday, they hit the roads of Horry County, eight agents in groups of two.
Agent Rodney Bellamy has been with the South Carolina Department of PPP for 22 years. He said he has been conducting the Halloween checks for the past five years. He said he has never seen any curfew violations within that time.
Loskill said his agents and the entire department take the Halloween curfew seriously, and the offenders take it serious too.
"We're going to be up front and straight forward with these guys, we're going to be out on Halloween, you got to be at home and you got to abide by the rules of the curfew," Loskill explained.
Halloween restrictions for offenders include no trick-or-treating, no parties, no decoration, lights must be off between the hours of 5:30 and 9:00 p.m.
Offenders must even sign a written statement agreeing to the terms. It applies specifically to 56 sex offenders in Horry County who have been convicted of having contact with a minor.
The curfew only applies to registered sex offenders who are on probation, parole, or some other form of active supervision by PPP.
All night probation agents were checking to make sure those offenders were home. And in some cases they will make two visits to the home in the same night.
Each of the residences WMBF made with agents were in compliance.
Loskill said the purpose of these checks are not to catch sex offenders doing something wrong but to provide peace of mind.