By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer
Halloween night will see an influx of local law enforcement agencies out on patrol in Portales to ensure the safety of area trick-or-treaters, according to officials.
Officers from the Adult Probation and Parole office in Portales will be out during the evening to ensure that children do not visit any homes of sex offenders who are currently under the jurisdiction of the probation office, said Chief Adult Probation Officer Wade Carter. Carter and his staff of officers will concentrate their efforts on patrolling the homes of the six sex offenders who are in the Portales area, he said.
“This is the first year we will be concentrating on sex offenders,” said Carter.
The offenders have been informed of the process and will be placed on house arrest for the duration of the evening. One offender who lives in the country will have the gate to his property locked so that no one may enter, said Carter. If a situation should arise with an offender, concerned citizens are encouraged to contact law enforcement officials, said Carter.
Throughout the night, the probation officers will drive by the residences of each offender. An officer will also make contact with the offenders at some point during the evening. The probation officers will also be working closely with local law enforcement agencies. Circumstances that arise during the evening will determine how late the patrols will last, said Carter.
“We’ll be out fairly late, said Carter.
Extra patrols will also be provided by the Portales Police Department, said Capt. Lonnie Berry. The officers will be patrolling to ensure safety and caution. The patrols will also be monitoring the high traffic areas, said Berry.
According to Portales City Manager Debi Lee, the city receives calls every year about a suggested time for children to trick-or-treat. This year a time has been designated from 6 to 8 p.m. with a set time, children will be able to take advantage of the extra safety measures that will be in place, said Lee.
Trick-or-treaters are also being encouraged to stay on sidewalks and hard surfaces and to respect the homeowner’s property, said Lee.
Courtesy also needs to be extended for those people who have not turned on their porchlight. Drivers are also being encouraged to watch their speed and to drive slow during the evening, according to Lee.
“The whole concept is we are going to have extra folks out patrolling and keeping an eye on things,” Lee said.