BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - While thousands of trick-or-treaters were out knocking on doors this Halloween, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office was out making sure sex offenders kept their doors closed.
They call it ‘predator patrol,’ and Deputy James Davenport is one of the patrollers.
There are 456 sex offenders in Butler County, a number Davenport says has risen in the time he’s done this.
“I don’t know if it’s just because more people are moving into the area that are being put on this list,” he mused, “but it definitely has grown.”
Of those 456, Davenport was responsible for around 50-60 offenders. That is, he was responsible for making sure those 50-60 offenders weren’t interacting with trick-or-treating children on Halloween night.
“(It’s) the effort of being visible and making sure that they’re abiding by their rules, their conditions, their status and not… falling off the wagon, so to speak,” Davenport explained. “Doing things that they’re not supposed to do.”
He carried around a handful of papers with him, papers covered with names, addresses, pictures and charges.
Davenport says in five years he’s never had an offender doing something they weren’t supposed to do—and he’s thankful for that.
He’s also happy to provide some comfort to parents in the county.
“If they know that sexual predators live in their neighborhoods,” he said, “at least they know that we’re in the area as well.”
The patrol is one of two ways the sheriff’s office tries to ensure a safe trick-or-treating experience for Butler County kids.
Deputies also host their own trick-or-treat event in the parking lot of the sheriff’s office every Halloween so they can keep a close eye on the kids.