SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Aside from trick-or-treaters out on Halloween night, law enforcement officers are also out, making sure sex offenders aren’t trying to lure children into their homes, by offering candy or displaying any decorations.
The Sacramento County chief of probation reportedly ordered his officers to not arrest any sex offenders who violate their probation on Halloween. The Sacramento County Probation Association, which represents rank-and-file probation officers, is taking action, saying the order was made to the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Team (S.A.F.E).
“That during the safe team sweep on Halloween, they were not to make arrests for high-risk sex offenders who are putting up Halloween decorations and passing out candy, in violation of their probation, which is luring children to their house,” said Greg Stuber, the president of the Sacramento County Probation Association.
Stuber wrote a letter to Marlon Yarber, the chief probation officer, asking him to rescind the order, and expressing alarm over the directive, which he said, places children at risk.
But why did Assistant Chief Shawn Ayala put out the order?
“That’s a question that we would like (to) have answered,” Stuber said. “There is no explanation of why that would happen and you would endanger children on a Halloween.”
FOX40 News contacted Ayala and asked him if he gave officers those instructions.
He said he did not and would send an email explaining what transpired.
FOX40 News never received that email.
“It’s really disappointing to hear that Assistant Chief Probation Officer Shawn Ayala is stating that he never gave that direction because in speaking with chief Yarber today, he confirmed to me that chief Ayala did give that direction and that he was personally rescinding the directive that was given,” Stuber said.
In an email to FOX40 News, Yarber said, “the safety and security of our community is the primary focus of the Sacramento County Probation Department and any action by a high-risk sex offender who is endangering a child will absolutely continue to be held immediately accountable.”
Stuber said it will be business as usual on Halloween night, saying any sex offender who violates their probation will be arrested.
In a survey from the National Retail Federation, Halloween participation is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels. Spending on Halloween candy is estimated to surpass $3.1 billion in 2022, a new all-time high.
According to the NRF, 69% of consumers are planning to celebrate Halloween this year with a total of $10.6 billion expected to be spent, a 5% increase from last year.