CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - You never know who will answer the door when your kids knock for treat or trick. Which is why the Mecklenburg County Sheriff says his office is verifying that convicted sex offenders are living where they say they are.
Residents can download a mobile application on their phone to see where the sex offenders are located in the neighborhood.
The Mecklenburg County Sheriff Office says as of last Thursday, 1,069 people are registered sex offenders in the county with crimes ranging from peeping tom to indecent liberties to rape.
Sheriff Irwin Carmichael says last Thursday deputies began Operation Watchful Eye where deputies have been out "verifying addresses for 887 of them; 155 are currently incarcerated, and 27 have outstanding warrants."
The Sheriff's Office says sex offender verification first started in 2005, and is done all year but Sheriff Carmichael says his deputies ramp up the verification around Halloween.
"For the 887 we've been trying to verify the addresses, the goal is to make sure they are where they say they are. If we know where they are, you know where they are and parents can feel safe. The citizens can feel safe," Carmichael said.
The sheriff says sex offenders can take part in trick or treating.
"They can have their light on - these 887 we're going to verify - and they can have their light on and pass out candy. So unless they're on probation and have other restrictions, they're able to have their light on and pass out candy, so this is why I tell everyone do your homework," Carmichael added.
The sheriff's office says Mecklenburg County residents can go to www.mecksheriff.com and download a mobile application that shows where sex offenders are living.
"Pre-plan your evening. Utilize the sex offender app. Know your route, and if you see one of these addresses that's on your route – that is an address you want to avoid," Carmichael said.
The app is called National Sex Offender Public Website Mobile App.
To find it on the Sheriff's website, click on services and scroll down to the sex offender tab. Inside that information is a link to download the app that shows where the sex offenders are living