GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. - Halloween is right around the corner.

The Guilford County Sheriff's Office wants to help keep kids safe before trick-or-treat time.

Deputies are encouraging parents to check the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry.

More than 17,000 people are on the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry List.

Guilford County has the second most registered sex offenders in the state with 959.

"Registered sex offenders should not be engaging in Halloween night," said Sheriff BJ Barnes. "They should not be letting kids come into their home because they know they're not supposed to be trying to lure kids in, and the thought of candy may well be doing that."

The sex offender registry serves as a resource to help protect and inform the public.

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You can find offenders near you by searching the registry online under multiple categories, from name to zip code.

Anyone convicted in court of a sex offense crime or an offense against a minor is on the list.

There's no law in North Carolina that prevents all sex offenders from actually handing out candy to your kids.

Click on NC Sex Offender Registry to check your area or county

For that reason, some parents are concerned.

"You never know who is on the other side, and you definitely don't know what you will be getting," said Letia Cheek. "I take it a step further, and I prefer not to go door-to-door."

Others not so much.

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"If the front porch light is on, then they're ready to accept trick or treating. If not, then we just skip that house," said Joey Wells, a father. "About 70 to 80 percent of the houses in our neighborhood participate and we know a lot of the families in our neighborhood so the concerns not that much."

Even if you feel safe in your neighborhood on Halloween, deputies still want parents to check the sex offenders registry because it's best for you to know before you knock.

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