Sex Offender Sweep Spurs More Registration in Jackson County

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Jackson County sex offender rolls grew on Thursday, following a law enforcement sweep of unregistered sex offenders living in the county.

On Wednesday, police in Grandview made a sweep through town to make sure that the nearly 50 sex offenders living there were properly registered and living where they claimed they did. According to officials, there are nearly 1,900 registered sex offenders living in Jackson County - the most of any county in Missouri. But they also say that there are about 100 or so sex offenders in the county who are unaccounted for, with no listing on the state's registry to warn the public.

As word of the sweep spread across the county on Thursday, sex offenders lined up at the Jackson County Courthouse to make sure that they were properly registered and providing the information that the law requires.

"We've had an increase in the number of people who've walked in from what it is normally," said Sgt. Arnold Wilson of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

Law enforcement is encouraging sex offenders to come in and register before they end up in handcuffs. During the Grandview sweep, two people were arrested on unrelated state charges, while seven people were taken into custody for violating the registry law and another 23 people could not be located at their registered addresses.

Wilson says that getting more law enforcement officers to regularly conduct sex offender registry sweeps would help get more sex offenders listed. Complete, 100 percent compliance with the law has been a goal that has yet to be reached since the registry started.

"Since all this information goes on websites, that the public looks at and trusts it to be correct, we have to try to make it as correct as possible," said Wilson.

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