A new law which goes into effect Aug. 28 authorizes law enforcement agencies to include photos on online registries of sex offenders living in their communities.
"The sheriff has already made the decision we're going to do that," said Lt. Jerry Bledsoe of the Scott County Sheriff's Department.
"I think this is something we need - just another service we can provide," said Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter. "It's good to put a face with a name."
"I did this once before a couple of years ago and had to take them off," Bledsoe recalled. "It was brought to my attention that we couldn't do that (at that time)."
Bledsoe said the county's residents liked having pictures included on the online registry of sex offenders and were upset when he had to remove them.
"A lot of times a picture will mean something to someone when a name doesn't," Bledsoe said. "I guess they just like being able to see that picture and can relate to that better than a name."
"A lot of people are in favor of it," Walter said. "All the calls I've got so far are in favor of it - I haven't got any negative, any against it."
As Aug. 28 is a Sunday, Scott County residents can expect to see pictures for most of the sex offenders in the county on Aug. 29.
"I'm going to do everything I can to have as many of them up there as we can on the first date," Bledsoe said. "It's going to take a little time to get them all on there but I'm planning to have as many as I can on there the first day we are allowed to do it. ... It's one of those situations I'll just have to do it as time allows."
Scott County presently has 116 registered sex offenders listed on its Web site.
"We take photographs of them when they come in to register," Bledsoe said. "It's automatically attached to our in-house registration file as a .jpg."
For those few in which a photo was not taken during registration, booking photos will be used. "There's some I'll have to go and scan in," he said.
"We don't have a Web site of our own," said Keith Moore, Mississippi County sheriff.
Registered sex offenders in Mississippi County are listed on the sheriff department's computers. County residents who need information on them can call or visit the sheriff's department.
"We've got probably about 41 right now in our county," Moore said. "Last week we got two new ones that got registered - they were my former employees."
Stephen Moore, 59, of Charleston, no relation to the sheriff, was convicted of sexual contact with an inmate, a felony, according to Moore, and Donny Evans, 58, also of Charleston, was convicted of misdemeanor sexual misconduct.
Moore said he had been investigating them since the first of the year when he took office. "Their final court appearance was Aug. 3," he said.
While all known sex offenders in the county have registered, "we've got some that have not followed through with their annual follow-ups that we're going to go to the prosecutor with."
The New Madrid County Sheriff's Department does not have a Web site, either.
In addition to being posted by local agencies, registered sexual offenders can also be found on the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Web site which features a search function. The Patrol is required by state statutes to maintain a sex offender database and a Web site on the Internet that is accessible to the public.
Some information for this story was provided by the Southeast Missouri News Service.
On the Net:
Missouri State Highway Patrol's sex offender registry: http://
Scott County's sex offender registry: http://www.showme.net/