Protecting Youth

HALLOWEEN IS being celebrated today. Trick-or-treaters will be out in full force tonight.

Thanks to a new initiative launched by the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department, youngsters will be much safer when they knock on doors in their quest for sweet treats.

The sheriff’s office has created a state-of-the-art resource for citizens to quickly locate the homes of registered sex offenders. It is one that could prove very useful as there are more than 100 registered sex offenders in Belmont County.

Such a number poses potential problems to defense-less youngsters.

The new website offers an avenue for parents of trick or treaters in planning a safe route. When people register on the site, they will be updated if there’s any sex offenders in their geographic area.

Moreover, registrants will be notified if a sex offender moves into their area.

The website can be found at Citizens should click on “Sex Offender Registry Search” on the right hand side under “Links” and follow the instructions to check their neighborhoods.

It would be prudent for citizens to check any addresses where they or their family spends time. It may avert potential tragedy.

We commend the sheriff’s department for initiating such a worthwhile endeavor as it safeguards our most precious commodity — our youth. We encourage all families to take advantage of a valuable crime-averting tool.