Keeping Halloween A Treat

By: Pachatta Pope
By: Pachatta Pope

Ghost and goblins aren't the only things parents need to watch out for on Halloween night. With about 190 registered sex offenders in the Brazos County, parents should know exactly where predators' are living to avoid leading their children to the wrong front door.

To help parents in the Brazos Valley, Bryan launched the Bryan Geographical Information System. The GIS allows users to select a marked home and view photos details of the offender, plus some basic details of the offense such as age and gender of the victim. GIS Coordinator, Todd Snelgrove says the information is undated every week to ensure accurate information.

"We get updates from the county sheriff's office on a Friday afternoon, by Monday morning it's on the Geographical Information System," Snelgrove said.

And parents seem to be taking advantage of the information. "Last year we saw about 20 to 30 percent increase in traffic on our map services the week leading up to Halloween. People were going out checking out their neighborhood," Snelgrove said.

Brazos County Sheriff, Chris Kirk, believes the success of the website is based on the collaboration of local, county, and state law enforcement. Kirk says all levels of law enforcement in the Brazos County cooperate in maintaining and updating the GIS so it can be a tool not only for law agencies, but also for the community.

Information regarding registered sex offenders can be found at www.bryantx.gov under 'maps'.


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