Mobile apps could protect children from sex offenders on Halloween

Halloween excitement is buzzing throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

But families are not the only ones preparing for the night of ghosts, goblins, and trick-or-treating.

Police departments are beefing up patrol, and are warning parents to keep their kids away from a greater evil.

"There's other dangers out there, sex offenders, said Sgt. Rudy Luna with San Juan Police. You need to be careful, you need to make yourself aware as to where those sex offenders live and keep your kids away from them."

Although the state of Texas opted to not join the National Sex Offender Registry in the beginning of October, lists of who these criminals are and where they live are still available on public records, including mobile apps.

Yvette Rodriguez, a mother of two, says knowing where sex offenders live is a prevention mechanism for her own children on Halloween night.

"It TMs good to know where they are not only during Halloween, but at all times when our kids are playing outside, when we go to other places, said Rodriguez. I think it's important to know who our surroundings are."

These mobile apps are seen as a quick and convenient way to know who could be a potential danger to children.

Police encourage parents to be aware for their children and to take their own safety precautions as well.

"We highly recommend that you accompany your kids when you go out trick-or-treating, said Sgt. Luna. If for some reason you cannot go with them, if you send them off with another adult, get phones that have GPS tracking, that way you can track your kids in case they do get lost."

"The goal is to keep our children safe all the time, said Rodriguez. But we just seem to keep our guard up a little more during Halloween."

Those sex offender information apps are available for download on your smart phone app store.

However, if you don't have a smart phone, a complete list of sex offenders in your area are posted on the Texas Department of Public Safety website.