** FILE ** Two children dressed in costume to celebrate Halloween walks as they collect candies through a neighborhood of Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2006. Two-thirds of parents say their children will trick-or-treat this Halloween, but fewer minorities will let their kids go door to door, with some citing safety worries, a poll shows.(AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Geary County, KAN. (WIBW) -- Officials in the Geary County Sheriff's Department want parents to know where local sex offenders live so they can avoid their homes when trick-or-treating with their kids this year.
The department is using a program called OffenderWatch, a sex offender mapping and alerting service.
Officials have released the following information about the tracking system.
"In Geary County, there is approximately 100 registered sex offenders, and we want you to know where they reside so that you avoid those houses when trick-or-treating. “We do the best we can in making sure sex offenders live where they tell us, so it is crucial that our citizens visit our website www.sheriffalerts.com, to see who the registered sex offenders are and where they are living.” says Sheriff Jensen. Citizens are encouraged to check any addresses where they or their family spend time. Sheriff Jensen says “The mapping and address feature found on the website pinpoints exactly where an offender lives.”
You will also find many other beneficial tools such as the ability to sign up for FREE automatic email notifications informing you if an offender moves within a specified radius of any address you register. “If you aren’t planning on trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, but will be in a family or friend’s neighborhood, register their address beforehand so you know which houses to avoid. You can register any and all of the addresses where your children spend a lot of time; for example friend’s, grandparent’s, or babysitter’s addresses” says Sheriff Jensen. The alerts are in real-time and sent out via e-mail as soon as a new offender has registered with the Geary County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Jensen says “The benefit of registering for this free confidential e-mail alert service is that it allows us to monitor your important addresses for you, thereby keeping you up to date of newly registered offenders and making it unnecessary for you to have to check your important addresses daily or even weekly”.
The website for the Geary County Sheriff’s Department is www.sheriffalerts.com. Citizens should click on the link “locate registered sex offenders” and follow the instructions to check their neighborhood and sign up to receive FREE e-mail alerts.
Sheriff Jensen encourages everyone to have a fun and safe Halloween. Knowledge is power and knowing where the registered sex offenders reside in your area can help you make the best choices for safe and enjoyable Halloween activities.
For further information, please call Detective Anthony Ricks of the Geary County Sheriff’s Department at (785) 238-2261."