TO: St. James Parish Citizens/Local Media

FROM: St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office, Willy Martin Jr., Sheriff

RE: Halloween and Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips

In St. James Parish, there are approximately Forty Nine (49) registered sex offenders, and we want you to know where they reside so that you avoid those homes when trick-or-treating.  “We do the best we can in making sure sex offenders live where they tell us, so it is crucial that our citizens visit our website, to see who the registered sex offenders are and where they are living.’ says Sheriff Willy Martin Jr. Citizens are encouraged to check any addresses where they or their family spend time.  Sheriff Martin says “The mapping and address feature found on the website pinpoints exactly where an offender lives.’

You will also find many other beneficial tools such as the ability to sign up for automatic email notifications informing you if an offender moves within a specified radius of any address you register.  “If you aren’t planning on trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, but will be in a family or friend’s neighborhood, register their address beforehand so you know which houses to avoid. You can register any and all of the addresses where your children spend a lot of time; for example friend’s, grandparent’s, or babysitter’s addresses’ says Sheriff Martin. The alerts are in real-time and sent out via e-mail as soon as a new offender has registered with the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office.  Sheriff Martin says “The benefit of registering for this free confidential e-mail alert service is that it allows us to monitor your important addresses for you, thereby keeping you up to date of newly registered offenders and making it unnecessary for you to have to check your important addresses daily or even weekly’.

The website for the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office is Citizens should click on the link “sex offenders’ and follow the instructions to check their neighborhood and sign up to receive free e-mail alerts.

Sex Offenders will also have a sign placed on their doors by Sheriff’s Office Personnel prior to Trick or Treating.  Louisiana Revised Statute 14:313.1 strictly prohibits offenders from having their front porch lights on, nor are they allowed to answer the door.  For the safety of you, your children, and the registered sex offender, if a sign like this is displayed on a front door or porch, do not trick or treat at this residence.

The St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office encourages everyone to have a fun and safe Halloween.  Knowledge is power and knowing where the registered sex offenders reside in your area can help you make the best choices for safe and enjoyable Halloween activities.  The Sheriff’s Office also reminds citizens “Trick or Treat’ hours are from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. this Halloween.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office at 562-2200.