JCSD reminds parents of safety tips for kids on Halloween

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 9:05 PM CDT
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JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - The Jones County Sheriff’s Department is working to keep kids safe while celebrating Halloween.

The Director of the Mississippi Sex Offender Registry acknowledged JCSD criminal investigator Wesley Waites for his work in keeping Jones County sex offenders in compliance with laws and rules.

“Just to be blunt and plain about it... I’m hard on them,” Waites said. “I’ve been doing this a while and I’ve found that that’s the easiest way to keep them compliant.”

We’re told out of 125 registered sex offenders in Jones County, 124 of them are compliant. Jones County Sheriff Joe Berlin says Waites is extremely tough and makes it his mission to ensure sex offenders stay in line.

“I don’t tolerate it,” Waites said. “And the ones that have crossed me and I’ve had to deal with... they know I don’t tolerate it.”

As Halloween approaches, Waites is reminding parents of potential dangers their kids could face while out trick-or-treating.

“Sex offenders... they have a way of luring children,” Waites said. “They like to entice children. They’re predators... If a sex offender is trying to lure a child or a teenager a young teenager, they will use something that will interest or draw that child’s attention.”

He’s also informing parents of a tool on the Jones County Sheriff’s Department website which shows a map of where every registered sex offender lives in the county.

Waites recommends parents utilize the map when deciding where to take their kids trick-or-treating.

“Look at it, see the safe areas,” Waites said. “See where the sex offenders live. I’m not telling you not to go there, but I’m asking you to use your judgment, and just be safe. Know where they are because you may have one living in your neighborhood and not know it.”

If you see a convicted sex offender violating a law, Waites says to call the sheriff’s office at (601) 425-3147.

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