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Law takes aim at predators and holidays

SPRINGFIELD -- For most parents, Halloween is all about safety. This year, a new state law will help.
SPRINGFIELD -- For most parents, Halloween is all about safety. This year, a new state law will help. It aims to keep sex offenders away from trick-or-treaters. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels has more.

The new law bans sex offenders from all Halloween activities including dressing up and passing out candy. It's something a lot of parents say helps put them at ease.

"What does your costume look like?"

"A princess."

"Like a princess?"


Like most kids, Alaina can't wait for Halloween.

"What are your plans?"

"We're going out to Sherman Suburb area. They have real good Halloween set up and they have firetrucks out there for the kids to look at and glow sticks. It's a good, safe way to go trick-or-treating."

This mom says safety is her number one priority when she takes her daughter out.

"There's a lot of creeps out. Freaks. It's just better to be safe."

And, she's not the only one worried about safety on Halloween night.

"My grand-babies need all the safety. I think about sending them out in armored trucks. They might run into the real bogey man."

That's why she says she's happy to hear about the new law. It says registered sex offenders aren't allowed to wear masks or costumes, pass out candy or leave their porch lights on.

"That will definitely be a big help because it's a little bit of a stress relief for parents."

And for police.

"We knew about it in the past that sex offenders may try to lure the kids there. Generally, we didn't have too many problems, but we knew that they could be tempted. Now it will certainly give us some teeth for something like that where they entice their kids to come to their porch."

Police say before you head out, you should check online or on your phone to see if there are sex offenders in your neighborhood.

The same law will also apply at Christmas and Easter. Sex offenders won't be able to dress up as Santa or the Easter Bunny.
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