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Buchanan County Sheriff's deputies keep kids safe on Halloween

Deputies went to the homes of each of the more than 300 registered sex offenders in Buchanan County to make sure they were complying with state laws on Halloween.

Posted: Nov 1, 2019 8:40 AM

(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.

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A few areas of frost are possible this morning as temperatures have fallen into the mid 30s. Today temperatures will remain below average with highs in the upper 50s and lower 60s under mostly sunny skies. A few clouds will move back into the area tonight as temperatures dip down into the mid to lower 30s. Areas of frost will be possible again early Thursday morning. Conditions will stay relatively the same on Thursday with highs in the upper 50s under mostly sunny skies. Rain chances will move back into the area on Friday, mainly through the afternoon and evening keeping temperatures in the lower 50s. A few rain showers could linger through early Saturday morning before moving out of the area. Sunday looks to be a dry and mild day with temperatures remaining in the upper 50s. Temperatures will start to warm up on Monday with highs back in the low to mid 60s before a cold front moves through the area dropping temperatures back into the 50s on Tuesday.
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