BEFORE CHILDREN begin their annual quest for Halloween candy, Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari is asking parents to avoid a true holiday horror and check the Megan’s Law website for updates on known sex offenders.
“Not only is Halloween upon us, but Daylight Savings Time is coming to an end,” Vicari said. “This is a perfect time to review the Megan’s Law site to ensure that no known sex offenders have moved into their neighborhoods.”
The database lists up-to-date information on all convicted sex offenders who are residents of the Garden State.
Towns, counties, zip codes and even individual streets can be easily reviewed.
More advanced checks allow users to input the names of convicted sex offenders or check only newer records.
“This only takes a few minutes and can make a big difference in keeping a child safe,” Vicari said.
Vicari also suggested periodically checking the Megan’s Law database throughout the year.
“It’s important to know what dangers a child may encounter when they are alone and out of the house,” he said. “It’s also essential that they learn to avoid strangers and how to react if they are approached by an adult they do not know.”
If a child is approached by a stranger in a car, they should be taught to run the opposite way – towards the rear of the car. This way, the driver will have to first turn around before they can pursue the child, Vicari said.
The database can be accessed through a link on the Ocean County Government Homepage at www.co.ocean.nj.us. The page can also be reached directly at www.njsp.org/info/reg_sexoffend.html.