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Sheriff's Office Uses New Strategy For Sex Offenders on Hallowee - KOAM TV 7

Sheriff's Office Uses New Strategy For Sex Offenders on Halloween

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VERNON COUNTY, MISSOURI -

A few times a year, the Vernon County Sheriff's Office does compliance checks on registered sex offenders.  But these compliance checks may not always happen right before Halloween.  Different this year are timely, friendly reminders about stiff penalties.

Kids with creative Halloween costumes who are doing their very best to score the most amount of candy they can get.  It's a tradition.  But Nevada resident Kathi Adams says times have changed.

"You just don't see them doing it as often because of the fear," says Adams.

...The type of fear many people don't want on Halloween.  

"We want to make sure that our streets are safe," says Vernon County Sheriff Jason Mosher.

Missouri state law requires registered sex offenders obey certain rules on Halloween.

"Starting at 5 o'clock, they have to be at home or at their place of employment, unless there's an emergency where they're at the hospital or something," says Mosher.

A registered sex offender must also put a sign on their door saying "no candy," and keep their front porch lights off until 10 at night.  But not all 80 registered sex offenders in Vernon County followed the rules.

"It's not uncommon to have a couple dozen violations," says Mosher.

So this year, Mosher is doing something his department tried last year with good results.

"Last year it was a lot fewer than that.  I don't have the numbers, but I believe it was under a dozen," says Mosher.

Registered sex offenders in Vernon County got a letter in the mail a couple of days before Halloween, as a reminder about the rules.

"It's just a good safety rule for them to follow if we're going to have a lot of kids walking up and down the streets," says Mosher.

Adams says the sheriff's office's new strategy is a step in the right direction.

"I believe it is.  I believe not enough of them are registering, anyway," says Adams.

Vernon County deputies have also noticed that some streets are too dark for kids on Halloween night.  So this year, deputies will be giving out free glow-in-the-dark bracelets.  The sheriff says it's just one more thing his department can do to make Halloween safer.

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