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Alvarado Halloween Ordinance For Sex Offenders Won't Be Enforced

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ALVARADO (CBS11) — A local Halloween ordinance one city says is designed to protect families from sex offenders won't be enforced this year.

Signs identifying registered sex offenders' homes in Alvarado have been required since 2010, but this year parents could not expect to see them posted.

Parents in Alvarado flocked to the annual Trunk-Or-Treat event in the town square hoping for a safer alternative to going door-to-door asking for candy. The decision not to enforce an ordinance requiring registered sex offenders to display signs identifying their homes on Halloween worried many parents like Candace Funk.

"A little nervous because now we don't know who's door we're going to," Funk said.

The Texas Department Of Public Safety lists more than a hundred sex offenders in Alvarado. One of them has challenged the legality of the ordinance requiring the signs, and until the challenge is resolved city leaders decided not to enforce the ordinance this year.

Parents like Brandy Taylor want to see the signs return.

"I think it's a good reminder that these people have done something bad in the past, that they are in our neighborhoods and that we do need to protect our children from them," Taylor said.

"I still believe that everybody needs to know where they're at because they've done it once, some of them can't stop or control themselves. They may do it again," Dale Gabel said while trick-or-treating with his son.

Public safety officials recommend using the online sex offender registry to know if there are any in your neighborhood.

"You could always find out each and every house, but who wants to have a map when they go trick-or-treating?" Gabel said.

"Just keep them close. That's really all you can do," Funk said.

The city's attorney is set to meet with council members in November to review the legality of the ordinance. Many parents tell us they hope to see the signs back up next year.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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