UPDATE 11/1– Greene County Sheriff’s Office has released the statistics for the annual sex offender compliance checks on Halloween night 2022. Out of the 930 registered sex offenders living inside Greene County, only 443 registered sex offenders fall under the Missouri State Halloween Compliance Statute.

On Halloween night 2022 Greene County Deputies checked on 415 registered sex offenders, and out of the 415 homes checked, 28 were not compliant with the Missouri State Halloween Compliance Statute.

Charges for the 28 registered sex offenders will be presented to the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Original story:

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Every year, on Halloween, Greene County deputies take to the streets. But many of them aren’t trick-or-treating, they’re visiting the homes of sex offenders for compliance checks.

“That goes based off the statute that they changed in August of 2008, which is specifically the Missouri State Halloween compliance statute.” Paige Rippee with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office said.

Those checks go by fast as over 20 deputies have to visit over 400 homes between 5 and 10:30 p.m.

“They (deputies) would just drive up to the residence, make sure that either their (offenders) porch lights are off and that they had their door shut,” Rippee said. “They either have something in their yard that says, no candy here, no trick or treaters, and they are actually inside their residence”

Those not in compliance can be punished.

“[The offenders would be] in violation of the conditions with this specific statute. And so, then they can be charged with a violation for that.”

KOLR 10 followed deputies for several stops in Republic this Halloween.

Neighbors nearby say the annual visits are good.

“I think it’s very important. You know, it makes it so that the kids are safe out on Halloween. Is that, you know, they can go out without worry about somebody watching.” Lester Davis said. “My kids are safe.”

“I think it’s a good thing for parents to be diligent and to do their research and also depend on the police to also help out with those things.” Stephanie Pruett said. “Sometimes police can’t do everything with staffing shortages and such, so I think it’s up to parents as well to do due diligence to protect their children.”