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TBI urges parents to scan sex offender map before Halloween outings

(PHOTO: J. Griffith / WCYB/ TBI)

It's that time of year. Kids dressing up in their favorite costume, ready for the trick or treating fun.

But, before you head out, make sure you're doing your homework before ringing the doorbells.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has a sex offender locator on its website.

You can put in an address and once you hit enter, the results might shock you.

You'll see tons of dots popping up near the location you entered.

"Click on that and a photo of the offender will pop up along with their name address and the offense they committed," TBI Spokesperson Leslie Earhart said.

It's a way to check where convicted sex offenders are living, and the TBI is encouraging parents to make sure you're aware of where you're bringing your kids.

"You don't want to inadvertently send your child to the door of a convicted sex offender," Earhart said.

To show a mom how easy it is, we brought up the map on a phone to show her.

"That's crazy. There's way too many," Nicole Mumpower, a mom of three, said.

We plugged in an address into the map of Baxter Street in Johnson City. It showed 35 sex offenders live within 2 miles of where we were.

"I would've never known unless I had seen the map. I'm very thankful that the map it's out there," Jennifer Ross said. She's planning on taking her grandchildren trick-or-treating.

Some not taking any chances on going door to door

"We always go to the trunk or treat's. We feel like that's the safest way to go especially with small children," Nicole Mumpower said.

Registered sex offenders have rules they must follow, including staying home between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. They can't have a porch light on, display fall decorations or wear costumes.

Tennessee Department of Correction officers will take part in Operation Blackout Halloween night. THey will go door to door, not to trick-or-treat, but to make sure sex offenders are following the rules.

"Will they follow? We don't know and that is very very scary," Ross said.

You can check out the map here.

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