The Gaston County Sherriff's Office is holding a required meeting of registered sex offenders on October 31 of this month, despite the fact that some towns have made the decision to observe Halloween on Saturday, October 30.
According to Capt. Darrell Griffin, the sex offender meeting has been held on Halloween for the past five years to prevent children from visiting the homes of registered sex offenders while trick-or-treating. The decision to keep the meeting on Halloween was made after the Sherriff's Office heard little feedback from the towns and the time came where they had to provide notice to the county's registered sex offenders. The decision will not be changed.
Some parents and members of the community are concerned that sex offenders will not be at the meeting on October 30, when many children will be out trick-or-treating. However, Griffin says that the Sherriff's Office contacted Gaston County towns regarding what day they would be celebrating Halloween and received little response.
Notice of the meeting had to be mailed to sex offenders at least one month in advance, so Griffin said the Sherriff's Office had to make a decision. Griffin encouraged concerned parents to visit the Sherriff's Department website or the N.C. Department of Correction website to see if there are any sex offenders in their neighborhood.
The meeting is held from 6 to 9 p.m. in the commissioners' room at the county courthouse. Griffin said there are 70 to 80 sex offenders who are required to attend the meeting. While there are 360 registered sex offenders in Gaston County, only registered sex offenders that are on probation or parole are required to attend.
Source: Gaston Gazette "Registered sex offenders meeting Halloween night," 19 October 2010