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Quad City police conduct sex offender sweep days before Halloween

Time is running out for local police agencies to ensure registered sex offenders are living where they are supposed to be before Halloween. In Rock Island Count...

Time is running out for local police agencies to ensure registered sex offenders are living where they are supposed to be before Halloween.

In Rock Island County, there are 315 registered sex offenders. Across the river in Scott County, there are 338.

Beginning  Sunday, October 26, more than 30 officers from numerous Iowa police agencies collaborated for the annual pre-Halloween sex offender compliance check. Officers go door-to-door, ensuring offenders address and information is up to date.

"We do annual compliance checks throughout the year, but we do the big sweep just before Halloween," said Detective Thomas Leonard, who heads the Scott County Sheriff Department's sex offender task force.

Leonard and a fellow officer simply knock on the door of a sex offender's home, if they answer, they are in compliance.

For offenders who don't answer, officers leave a yellow sign on the doorknob with a phone number directing them to the Scott County Sheriff's Office.

If the offender doesn't call police in a timely manner, a warrant can be issued for their arrest.

In 2013, 93 percent were in compliance.

In Iowa, registered sex offenders can legally handout candy on Halloween, but it's prohibited in Illinois.

"Although sex offenders can legally participate in Halloween activities, we strongly encourage them not to," Leonard said.

Police encourage parents to visit their state's sex offender website before their children trick or treat.

For the Iowa sex offender registry website, click here.

For the Illinois sex offender registry website, click here.