Do you know where your state's sex offenders are? Well, Missouri police have LOST 1,200, says report
Local authorities in Missouri do not know the locations of more than 1,200 sex offenders, according to reports.
According to Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway, children in the state are not safe from sexual predators. After conducting an audit of registered sex offenders in Missouri, Galloway understood that Jackson County has the highest percentage of sex offenders who are not in compliance. Law enforcement authorities have no idea of their whereabouts, and thereby neither do you.
Over 1,200 registered sex offenders are found to be unaccounted for statewide, with 800 of them belonging to Tier Three - which includes people convicted of child molestation, rape and sodomy.
A convicted sex offender is required to register with local law enforcement wherever they move to. During that process, they must provide their name, address, and other vital information which would be published on a website maintained by the Missouri State Highway Patrol visible to all.
A law-abiding citizen has access to this database, where they can know where sex offenders are living and be aware if one is lurking in their neighborhood. Such information is extremely critical to the safety of a family.
Addressing a news conference on Monday, Galloway said, “So what our audit found is that law enforcement must do more to hold these predators accountable for following the law. Here in Jackson County, the numbers are especially concerning.”
The audit was reportedly conducted in February and May 2018. Darryl Forte, who took over as the new Jackson County Sheriff after the audit, was shocked to see the missing numbers.
On August 28, Forte decided to take initiative and thus put a policy in place in order to track 456 registered sex offenders whose current locations were unknown. His agency has so far apprehended 30 of them and is working day and night to locate all of them - a problem he inherited, Fox4 Kansas reports.
“We just updated the sex offender policy. It hadn’t been updated since 1997,” Forte said. “I sum it up as lack of leadership. And again, I want to stress we have some great people here. They just need some leadership. They need some guidance.”
Now, residents of Jefferson City are slowly noticing the efforts of the new County Sheriff.
“I do know here in Jackson County the sheriff has acknowledged this issue,” Galloway said. “There is a new sheriff who has acknowledged this issue, and I am glad he is making this a priority. I would like to see that across the state.”
That said, warrants have not been issued for almost 91 percent of the more than 1,200 missing sex offenders statewide, meaning if one who is registered in Jackson County gets pulled over in Clay County, the officer would have no way of knowing that person has been non-compliant.