At a press conference yesterday, St. Tammany Sheriff Randy Smith announced two new ways the agency is helping parents protect their children from child predators. This Halloween, signs will be placed in the yards of 160 of the parish’s registered sex offenders, warning parents not to let their children trick-or-treat there. State law prohibits convicted sex offenders from distributing candy on Halloween to anyone under the age of 18 or from wearing masks, disguises or hoods during the holiday. Parents can also check their trick-or-treating route against the agency’s list of registered sex offenders, which is available on its website at www.stpso.com.
The Sheriff’s Office also recently partnered with OffenderWatch, the same Covington-based company that provides the software for the STPSO sex offender registry, to offer a new mobile app to keep families and children safer online. When parents download the new OffenderWatch Safe Virtual Neighborhood app on their child’s device, the app monitors the child’s Snapchat activity, texts, emails, location and phone calls. The app sends an immediate alert to parents if a registered sex offender contacts the child, or if the child lingers near the address of a sex offender. Go to offenderwatch.com to learn more.