Law enforcement is stepping up Wednesday night to keep kids safe from sexual predators. Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with Sergeant Ronda Montgomery, from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office:
Under Missouri Statute 589.426, registered sex offenders are required to avoid all Halloween-related contact with children. They must be in their home from 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., with their outside lighting turned off, and a sign posted saying “No candy or treats at this residence.”
“What we know is statistics have shown that many sex offenders that we deal with or that have to register under these laws, typically their victims are under the age of 18,” said Montgomery, “And so what we want to do is take every step possible to make sure that we do everything we can to ensure the safety of these children.”
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office will go door-t0-door Wednesday evening to check on all the registered sex offenders the statute pertains to, making sure they comply with the law.
Press Release from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office
Halloween should be filled with surprise and enjoyment for our children, and they should be able to trick or treat in a safe environment. That is why the Jackson County, MO Sheriff’s Office will be out in force on Halloween (October 31, 2012) ensuring sex offenders comply with Missouri laws.
Missouri Statute 589.426 states:
Any person required to register as a sexual offender under sections 589.400 to 589.425 shall be required on October thirty-first of each year to:
(1) Avoid all Halloween-related contact with children;
(2) Remain inside his or her residence between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. unless required to be elsewhere for just cause, including but not limited to employment or medical emergencies;
(3) Post a sign at his or her residence stating, “No candy or treats at this residence”; and
(4) Leave all outside residential lighting off during the evening hours after 5 p.m.
Studies show a high recidivism rate among sex offenders. In fact, in a study of 126 convicted male rapists, these men had committed 907 rapes with 882 different victims (National Victim Center). In addition, US Department of Justice statistics show that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience some kind of sexual assault in their lifetime, and 67% of sexual assaults have victims under the age of 18.
With the number of children out on Halloween under the age of 18, it is important we do everything we can to ensure their safety. The Sheriff’s Office will be holding a briefing beginning at 6 p.m. on October 31, 2012 to discuss how the teams of officers will be deployed to go door to door and verify compliance of these sex offenders reportedly living in Jackson County. The briefing will be at our sex offender registration office located at 1315 Locust; Suite 100 in Kansas City and the media is welcome to attend.
As I mentioned, Halloween should be filled with surprise and enjoyment and it should be a fun time without trouble and pain. If you or your children feel uncomfortable about someone or a particular residence, it is better to be safe than sorry, so just skip that house and move on to the next. In addition, please contact your local police or the Sheriff’s Office immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
For a list of Halloween Safety Tips, please see the attached. In addition, all members of the media are asked to arrive at 5:30 p.m. Should you have further questions, I may be reached at 816-507-8513.
Sergeant Ronda Montgomery