Parents have a new tool to keep kids safe on Halloween - or any day of the week, and it fits in the palm of your hand. Several new applications out for smart phones lets you keep track of registered sex offenders as your little ghouls hit the streets.
The apps use offender registration data and the GPS of a phone to plot out any potential threats.
Parents seem to be pleased with the idea. David Whittaker is looking forward to the first Halloween with his children. "I think it comes in very handy when it comes to parents you know, what neighborhood has the higher concentration of folks that might be dangerous to your kids.", he said.
Jenny Hartsock's son is not yet old enough to trick-or-treat, but she was alarmed at the concentration of offenders in Wichita Falls. "Its scary... Especially on a holiday that is targeted at kids. It just makes you more aware - its not something you think about and seeing all those red dots makes you second guess.", she said. Hartsock plans to get an application once her son is old enough to go. "I think that when my son is old enough to go trick-or-treating it will definitely give me more piece of mind.. I'd probably be willing to spend $1.99 on it just to be sure.", she said.
The apps run from free to several dollars and can be found in the iPhone and Android Markets. If you don't have a smart phone, the same registration data is online - for free.
Newschannel 6 has an in-depth look at Halloween safety. Click on the Inside Texoma link to see what the Wichita Falls Police Department does to keep kids safe while they are out trick-or-treating. If you are looking for a 100% safe environment, the Newschannel 6 Safe Kids Halloween is being held at the Howard Johnson in Wichita Falls. The event runs 6:00PM-8:00PM on Sunday. There is no cost and all are welcome to attend.
Click here for the Texas State Sex Offender Registry.