Buffalo Police Department conducts checks on sex offenders in effort to enforce Missouri’s Halloween law

Published: Oct. 31, 2021 at 9:25 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 31, 2021 at 10:13 PM CDT
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BUFFALO, Mo. (KY3) - Across the nation and the Ozarks, police departments are checking in on sex offenders to make sure they are compliant with Missouri’s Halloween law.

Buffalo’s police chief, Chris Twitchell, said the Halloween law in Missouri was put in place in 2008 to limit sex offenders from contact when a large amount of children are outside.

Twitchell said, if a person is not compliant, they can be charged.

“They get wrote up on their compliance check,” said Twitchell. “They can be charged with up to $1,000 fine and a year in jail.”

Brenda Jones is the executive director of the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL), a group for civil rights for sexual offenders. She believes this practice is outdated.

“It’s a totally wasted effort,” said Jones. “They have much better results in terms of protecting children by monitoring the traffic on the streets.”

Heidi Moore, a member of NARSOL said police could be using their time in a better way.

“Children are more likely to be harmed in a motor vehicle accident, or relationship to motor vehicle accidents tonight,” said Moore. “So why are we sending those resources to a place where statistics show it’s not a good utilization of their time?”

The NARSOL members said the checkup initiatives across the county make the issue of sex offenders attacking kids on Halloween bigger than it is.

“It’s an urban myth that has taken on a life of its own,” said Jones.

When asked if the check up is a waste of time, Chief Twitchell said checking on sex offenders is about being proactive.

“You have to be proactive. So you’re not reactive,” said Twitchell. “I would much rather prevent a bunch of these things happening than have to go out and react to it when they have already happened.”

Twitchell makes it a priority to not be complacent when dealing with sex offenders.

“I don’t tolerate sex offenses in my city,” said Twitchell. “We’re going to go after them. We’re going to make sure people are doing what they’re supposed to do legally and that’s pretty important.”

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