CHEROKEE COUNTY, Kan. – With the school year coming to an end, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office recently conducted a county-wide Registered Offender Compliance Operation.
"Over the summer, children will be playing more outdoors, going with their friends to parks and swimming pools, or may be going to new sitters. It's important for parents to know if any registered sex, drug or violent offenders live in the areas their children live and play, so they can take precautions to keep their family safe," said Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves. "Although our investigators aggressively work to ensure those required by law to register with our office are providing up to date and accurate information when they register, we know not all of them will, which is why throughout the year our deputies and investigators conduct unannounced home visits to confirm the information they provided is current and accurate."
"With over 100 registered offenders living in the county, we saw a 95% compliance rate during our most recent operation, and we will be requesting criminal charges be filed on those suspected of violating the Kansas Offender Registration Act," continued Sheriff Groves.
With school being out for the summer, parents are being encouraged to take advantage of a tool, provided through the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office's partnership with Covington, Louisiana based OffenderWatch, to provide free access to download the OffenderWatch app on Android and iPhone smartphone devices.
After downloading the app, citizens will be able to see registered offenders living near them or other locations they would like monitored. They can also request to receive free alerts when a registered sex offender moves into their neighborhood.
According to the Crimes Against Children Research Center, one in five teens have reported receiving an unwanted sexual solicitation online. In 2021, most of the more than 29 million tips reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children dealt with child sexual abuse images, online enticement, including "sextortion," child sex trafficking, and child sexual molestation.
Funding for the Registered Offender Compliance Operation is provided through a grant awarded to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office from the Adam Walsh Act Implementation Grant, United States Office of Justice Programs.