Geary County, KAN. (WIBW) -- There are 100 registered sex offenders in Geary County. Sheriff’s deputies track them to make sure they’re are living where they say they are.
That information is stored in a program called OffenderWatch and officials are encouraging parents to use it before going trick-or-treating with their kids.
"The purpose of this is to educate the public- parents and everyone involved- that there are sex offenders that live in the area and we want people to know where they live at so that during the course of their Halloween activities, they can know which houses to avoid. It's all about safety for the parents and kids," said Geary County Undersheriff Tony Wolf.
The website is www.sheriffalerts.com. Click on "Kansas" and then the agency that applies to where you live. Then, click on "Search for Offenders In you Area." It will allow you to find offenders near your address and includes violent offenders and drug offenders in the results along with sex offenders. It also lists details on their crimes and pinpoints exactly where they live. Citizens are encouraged to check any addresses where they or their family spend time.
Some law enforcement agencies will set certain rules for sex offenders on Halloween, making them leave their porch lights off and doors closed so as not to attract trick-or-treaters. But in other counties, like Geary County, those rules are not in place and sheriff’s officials say that’s all the more reason for parents to do their homework ahead of time.
"Not everyone has good intentions so we need to be aware where they are and who they are.Children are our most valuable resource and they need to be protected," said Franklin Bryan, father of two boys.
Other counties like Shawnee and Pottawatamie also offer sheriff alerts for residents.
You can also sign up for free automatic email notifications informing you if an offender moves within a specified radius of any address you register. 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.
“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. 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," Geary County Sheriff Jim Jensen said in a press release.