HOUSTON (FOX 26) - If you're taking your kids out trick-or-treating, you want to make sure they're not knocking on a sex offender's door.
"It's somewhere over 5,000," said Andy Kahan, a victims' advocate for the City of Houston.
Kahan was instrumental in helping push through the legislation that led to the Texas Sex Offender Registry.
"You should be able to check your streets, check your neighborhood, and if there's anybody of concern, mark that house, note it, and avoid it," said Kahan.
The Sex Offender Registry on the Texas Department of Public Safety website allows families to easily see the current addresses of all sex offenders living in their neighborhoods. You can hit the search button and enter your address or zip code to see a map of the registered sex offenders in your area. You can click on each pin on the map to see who the sex offender is, including a mug shot, and what that person is convicted of.
"Offenders move, and many times sex offenders are transient, so what you see today won't necessarily be the same two weeks from now," said Kahan. "So I'm always preaching check regularly your zip code. Or check any zip code that you have concerns with. "
Kahan says there are a few things a registered sex offender on probation or parole is not allowed to do on Halloween.
"By policy they are not allowed to have any Halloween decorations outside," said Kahan. "So usually what happens is a parole or probation officer are checking to make sure that they're complying with those rules or regulations. However, if a sex offender has discharged his sentence and their only requirement is to register, they can have decorations."
Kahan recommends that anyone with a family check the Texas Sex Offender Registry not just on Halloween, but often.