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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Tracking Sex Offenders Before "Trick-Or-Treats"

It's almost Halloween. Do you know who your neighbors are? You may want to find that out before your children go trick-or-treating.

Springfield Police Department Deputy Chief Cliff Buscher said there's a frightening reality in Springfield.

“261 registered offenders. 27 of that 261 are just violent offenders. All the rest are sex offenders,” he said.

Whether it is 261 or one, that's too many for Deanna Logan, who is a mother of five.

"I don't let them go by their self," she said. “You know, you don't speak to everybody. You don't go into everybody's house, you know, you never know." 

Unless you check. Springfield Police have their own sex offender database right on their website.

“They can actually put in their information and request alerts so that anytime somebody moves in to their neighborhood they'll get an email alert on it," Buscher said.                  

If you don't live in Springfield, Illinois State Police have a database too. And for smartphone users, there is an app for that. Dozens of them.

“I wouldn't be scared," Buscher said. "But informed. Definitely get on one of these websites and just check and know where these people are."

That's what Billy Bell does. He has lived in the Enos Park neighborhood for 18 years. But even the police officer who lives across the street isn't enough to keep his fears at bay.

“I've got little girls, you know what I'm saying?," he said. "And I know a couple [sex offenders] have been there. Couple have been over here."                 

You can peruse the internet all you want, but sometimes it just comes down to intuition.

“Just really be involved in their life because that changes them," Logan said. "If they feel that you're not involved they'll look other places. And you don't want them to do that because everybody's intentions is not your intentions for your children."

Unlike some states, sex offenders in Illinois can turn on their porch lights, dress up and hand out candy on Halloween. However, that will change when a new law goes into effect January 1st.

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