WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - With around 1,600 registered sex offenders in Sedgwick County, the sheriff's office wants you to know where they live so you can avoid those houses when taking your kids out trick-or-treating this Halloween. 

Parents and guardians can check the county's offender search website, and the sheriff's office encourages checking any address where you or your family spend time. The mapping and address feature found on the website pinpoints exactly where an offender lives.
 

You will also find other helpful tools, such as free automatic email notifications if an offender moves within a specified radius of any registered address.

"If you aren’t planning on trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, but will be in a family or friend’s neighborhood, register their address beforehand so you know which houses to avoid," the sheriff's office said. "You can register any and all of the addresses where your children spend a lot of time; for example friend’s, grandparents, or babysitter’s addresses. The alerts are in real-time and sent out via e-mail as soon as a new offender has registered with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office."

Parents and guardians can also search the Kansas Bureau of Investigator's sex offender database at kbi.ks.gov/registeredoffender. That site allows searches within three miles of an address for registered sex offenders, drug offenders and other violent offenders. You can also perform searches by name, zip code and county, or sign up to receive alerts if an offender registers in your community.

For the national sex offender registry, click here.

The KBI offers these additional tips:

  • An adult should accompany children at all times, especially if trick-or-treating at unknown residences.
  • Children should not enter residences or structures of individuals unknown to them.
  • Teens and older children should stay in groups, and be instructed to check in frequently with a parent or guardian.
  • If out after dark, carry flashlights or wear reflective clothing.
  • Ensure candy is in its original packaging before allowing children to eat it.
Halloween should be an enjoyable time for families, though safety should also be a priority.