(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- Since 2010, Missouri state law has required that all registered sex offenders in the state stay away from children on Halloween night.
They must go to extreme measures to make sure trick-or-treaters are not encouraged to come to their homes for candy.
On Thursday, nearly 50 deputies with the Buchanan County Sheriff's Department paired up into teams to go to each and every one of the more than 300 homes of sex offenders in the county to make sure they were complying with state law.
"No lights on. A sign that indicates that they don't have no treats or candy at the residence. They'll present their ID, we'll make sure it's them," said investigator Mike Hess, who has been with the sheriff's department for almost 20 years.
Registered sex offenders are required to be in their homes from 5:30 - 10 p.m. on Halloween night, with exceptions made for work schedules.
Even after one visit from the deputies on Halloween night, they aren't in the clear.
"I always make the joke that we're kind of like Santa Claus," said Sheriff Bill Puett. "Sometimes we check the list, sometimes we check it twice to make sure they stay in compliance for the evening. We don't want them thinking we've been there and won't be back."
It's a lot of work in a short amount of time, but deputies say it's worth it to keep kids safe.
They say the sex offenders expect them to come knocking.
"Most understand it's the law. We're here to enforce the law and make sure the law is being followed," Puett said.
On the ride-along that KQ2 participated in, there was one offender who was not in the home he was supposed to be in. The sheriff's department is following up on the case.