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Cole County Deputies will be traveling throughout Jefferson City and Cole County on Halloween, not to trick or treat, but to verify registered sex offenders are complying with Halloween Restrictions. Per Missouri Law, any person required to register as a sexual offender since 2008 must follow certain rules on October 31.
The Law requires offenders to avoid all Halloween-related contact with children; remain inside their residence between the hours of 5pm to 10:30pm, unless required to be elsewhere for just cause, including but not limited to employment or medical emergencies; post a sign on the residence stating, “No candy or treats at this residence”; and leave all outside residential lighting off during the evening hours after 5pm. Violators can be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
The annual Halloween Offender Checks are in conjunction with a larger ongoing Cole County Sheriff’s Department program to annually verify all registered sex offenders in Cole County. Deputies make contact with registered offenders to personally verify their required information. Offenders that are not home are investigated further to verify their residency. In addition to verification of reported data, Deputies look for proximity to child care facilities and schools, vehicles accessible to the offenders, and any other intelligence in plain sight.
Per Missouri Statute 589.400, offenders are required to register and regularly update their information with local law enforcement, advise any moves within three days, report employment or if attending educational institutions.
The public can access the offender database via the Cole County Sheriff’s Department website at www.colecountysheriff.org.
Authority: John P. Wheeler
Cole County Sheriff