While there is no doubt the COVID-19 crisis is changing our world in ironic, powerful, and unexpected ways, some things stay the same.
There are no changes in the Sex Offender Registration requirements during the COVID 19 crisis. People who have to register as a sex offender in person at local sheriff’s offices, still have to register. They just cannot do it in person. So how do they do it?
The answer is… it depends. It depends on where you are supposed to register, as each sheriff department is handling this issue differently in the time of COVID and quarantines and social distancing.
In the Kansas City Metro Area, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Sex Offender Unit is allowing citizens to handle their registration until at least April 24, 2020 by phone at 816-881-3849 and by email at email@example.com.
Clay County doesn’t list any changes on their website, however, when I reached out to their office I learned that you just need to call 816-407-3750, and hit the number 3, and whomever answers the phone will be able to register you by phone during normal business hours.
Platte County didn’t seem to have much on-line either, but I was informed they are handling it by phone as well by calling 816-858-3769.
In Cass County, Detective Jason Heffernan advised that they are handling updates and registrations by email at SOAR@cassmosheriff.org. He indicated that if residents did not have access to the internet, then they should call the main number 816-380-5200 and ask to speak with him or leave a message on his office voicemail. He is scheduling special appointments to handle needed in-person matters through the glass in a jail visitation booth.
Johnson County, Missouri, however, is doing their registration by phone, so calling 660-747-6469 can get the job done.
Now, over in Johnson County, Kansas you must call 913-715-5476 and they can help you get registered if you live out that way, and in Wyandotte County you can call 913-573-2861 and ask to speak with their offender registration unit.
The long and the short of it is this, most Sheriff’s don’t want additional people coming into their offices and jails, so call before you make the trip.
Also, if you are a tier 1 or 2 offender, the Missouri DUI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm can do a free evaluation to determine if you are eligible to be released from your registration requirements. It may be a good thing to come out of the COVID shut down, ready to put registering behind you.