Halloween is right around the corner, and local law enforcement are making sure the hundreds of sex offenders in Jasper County are following the law.
The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office already keeps a close eye on registered sex offenders and Halloween is no different. They have already started to reach out to offenders to make sure their in compliance with the law, which includes ensuring they are on the sex offender registry and posting the proper signage on their home on Halloween.
“Nowadays, you never know what you’re going to get,” explained Joplin parent LauRae Howard. “You never know what’s going to be on the other side of the door when you knock.”
Howard, a mother of five, says on Halloween her family takes extra precaution to be safe — like only going to the homes of people they know.
“We don’t do the traditional door-to-door trick or treating,” Howard added. “We do, we’ll go to family and friends houses or we’ll do the events that businesses or churches do in the community.”
With Halloween just a few days away, local law enforcement is taking the time to ensure all local sex offenders are in compliance with the law. In Missouri, offenders must turn off all lights at ther home at 5 p.m. on Halloween night.
“That they must be at their residence between the hours of 5 pm to 10:30 pm,” Jasper County Detective Roy Masters explained. “They must have a sign that’s posted that says “No candy or treats at this residence.'”
And even with those laws in place, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office goes the extra mile to follow through that those rules are being followed.
“We send out letters to all of our offenders that remind them, we even include a sign in the letter so they don’t even have to make a sign up to put out — we’ve supplied one for them,” Masters added. “We even request that they let us know if they’re going to be working during that time so they can save a little bit of time and energy when we go to try and verify and do compliance checks.”
Masters encourages parents to stay aware on where their kids go to trick-or-treat.
“Part of being a good parent, is making sure your kids know where they should be going and where they shouldn’t be going,” said Masters. “Of course, any time you see a residence without any lights on, it’s probably not a good idea to go knock on the door.”
The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office says about 343 sex offenders are regsitered in Jasper County. However, laws do differ state to state, so its some important information to be familiar with.