Authorities arrested one convicted sex offender, and six others were found noncompliant, during a two-day compliance check in Franklin County.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, in a collaboration with municipal police departments and the U.S. Marshal Service, conducted sex offender compliance checks for sex offenders June 13-14.
Departments that participated in the efforts are Union police, Washington police, Pacific police, Sullivan police and St. Clair police.
Of the 121 checks scheduled, 85 did not find any discrepancies and were considered to be compliant, according to Sheriff Steve Pelton.
There are 30 checks still in progress.
One suspect was taken into custody for failing to register as a sex offender and charges will be sought against six others.
“We take a strong standpoint for the safety of our citizens and children,” Pelton said. “We have an obligation to the community to make sure offenders are in compliance.”
The compliance checks are to make sure registered sex offenders are in compliance with court-ordered conditions, including registering their current address and phone number, any temporary/frequented addresses, employment and vehicles registered or driven.
Officers also check to ensure offenders are in compliance with conditions on the use of computer access/sites, email information, compliance with court-ordered probation or parole, and the identity of others that reside at the residence.
Currently there are 277 offenders who reside in Franklin County.
“We try to take a proactive stance,” Pelton added. “To me this is an important safety measure and these contacts make sure people are in compliance.”
The U.S. Marshal Service can follow up on cases that extend outside jurisdictional boundaries.
Law enforcement officers also made four other arrests for circumstances unrelated to the sex offender registration program. The fugitive arrests were made for assault domestic/probation violation, probation violation, a city ordinance violation and failing to appear on traffic charges.
During one of the arrests Wednesday, the St. Clair School District went on lockout as a precaution.
Police Chief Bill Hammock said authorities were conducting an investigation at a residence near the schools and he wanted to make sure the schools were secure in case the person at the residence fled from police.
A lockout consists of students and teachers conducting daily routines inside and not allowing anyone to go outside, according to Superintendent Kyle Kruse. He said during that time, extra precaution is taken if someone needs to enter schools and traffic is minimized.
The district released the following statement Wednesday regarding the lockout:
Just before school started this morning, we were advised that a law enforcement operation may take place near the school campus. No students were involved or expected to be in danger.
At the time the operation was expected to begin, schools went into “lockout” as a precaution. We have now been advised that normal operations can resume, and the “lockout” has been lifted. This has been a very fluid and fast-moving situation, and we appreciate your understanding.
St. Clair Missourian Editor Elizabeth Barmeier contributed to this story.