The City of Edinburg has taken a proactive approach to ensure the safety of their children, adopting a new ordinance that prohibits sex offenders from going anywhere near a public park, day care, school, or any child-oriented location.
And on Halloween night, the rules got even stricter.
"They were also required between the hours of 4pm and midnight to remain inside their homes, turn off all the exterior lights, and put out a sign in front of their residence that said ~no candy TM," said Edinburg Police Lt. Oscar Trevio.
A team of investigators and patrol officers went out and made physical checks of each and every sex offender in the Edinburg area.
Out of the 80 homes visited on Halloween night, 12 of the offenders received citations for leaving their lights on and for not having a no candy sign.
But an additional four offenders were nowhere to be found.
"Three of them reported they just plain out were not aware of the ordinance, which was false, said Lt. Trevio. Our sex offender registry unit had contacted each and every individual by phone and in person to give them a heads up on this, and to advise them of the consequences."
The fourth unaccounted for offender claims he left his home briefly to visit a sick relative, and during that time, police happened to show up at his empty house.
A grand total of 16 citations were issued on Halloween night.
According to Lt. Trevio, although patrol was heightened on Halloween, police will be monitoring these sex offenders on a daily basis.
"What we've learned from this is the city mayor, the city council, and the chief of police care for the safety and protection of all our citizens, said Lt. Trevio. They are committed to the enforcement of this ordinance."