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For Immediate Release

Contact:
October 13, 2011 Senior Inspector Cory Thomas
District of Western Arkansas (479) 424-5075
Operation “SAFE SCARE”

Van Buren, AR – Operation SAFE SCARE is a joint agency focus to validate the addresses provided by registered sex offenders. Halloween is a time when many children are on the streets going door-to-door trick-or-treating and are vulnerable to sexual predators. The aim of SAFE SCARE is to keep our kids safe so they can enjoy Halloween and being a kid. SAFE SCARE allows law enforcement to validate information provided by sex offenders during the registration and periodic re-registration requirements under Arkansas State Law. Normally, sex offenders’ addresses are verified only during initial registration and on a case by case basis after that. Experience tells us that often times, registered sex offenders will periodically re-register as required, but will use an address where they are not actually residing anymore.

SAFE SCARE targeted 128 registered sex offenders in the Crawford County area. Officers were able to locate and verify 103 of those sex offenders in the two day operation. Officers were unable to verify compliance with 25 offenders either because no one was home at the time, or the offender was in non-compliance with their registration and not living at the residence where they were registered. Officers will spend the next several days following up on these unverified offenders and seeking additional charges for individuals who are found to be in non-compliance with their sex offender registry. During SAFE SCARE, officers made three arrests for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, Internet Stalking of a Child, and Sexual Battery. Officers anticipate additional charges with more arrests to come in the next few weeks as a result of information

With Halloween right around the corner, it is crucial that citizens know which houses their children should avoid when trick-or-treating. Some cities around the country require sex offenders to display a sign on their front doors or porches the night of Halloween telling kids ‘no candy.’ During Operation SAFE SCARE, officers gave all offenders a similar sign that tells kids not to trick-or-treat at their house and asked them to display it on their front door on Halloween night. Offenders are not supposed to have their front porch lights on, nor are they supposed to answer the door. For the safety of you, your children, and the registered sex offender, if a sign like this is displayed on a front door or porch, do not trick-or-treat at this residence.

You can find more information about sex offenders in Crawford County by visiting www.crawfordcountysheriff.org and clicking on the “SEX OFFENDERS” tab at the top of the page or by going to www.vanburenpd.org and clicking on the “PUBLIC INFORMATION” tab on the left, and then the “SEX OFFENDERS” tab on the right.

Participating Agencies:

  • Arkansas State Police
  • Arkansas Department of Community Correction
  • Alma Police Department
  • Van Buren Police Department
  • Crawford County Sheriff’s Office
  • U. S. Marshals Service

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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