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State monitors sex offenders during Halloween

State probation officers were out in force to monitor sex offenders Wednesday night for Halloween festivities.

The statewide effort also took place in Manatee County, according to Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jo Ellyn Rackleff.

Probation officers were on duty during trick-or-treat hours, with enhanced surveillance, officer drive-bys and home visits at sex offender residences, according to Rackleff.

Also, probation officers had an increased presence at places where there are possible sex offenders, such as motels, trailer parks and treatment facilities.

No arrests were made.

Here are some safety tips recommended by the Department of Corrections each Halloween night:

Closely supervise your children as they trick or treat, even older children.

Ensure your children's costumes are highly visible.

Avoid homes where there are no outside lights on.

Keep children away from hotels and motels to trick or treat.

Stay away from unfamiliar neighborhoods.

Limit the trick-or-treat period to no later than 8:30 p.m.

Thoroughly inspect Halloween treats before allowing your children to eat them.

Always carry flashlights.

Keep track of the street and address where you are, so that law enforcement can respond more quickly to an emergency.

Always carry a cell phone and call 911 to report suspicious behavior.

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