By Garrett Bergquist
NEW BLOOMFIELD - How much money would you pay to know if any sex offenders live in your area?
Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Kids Live Safe charges its subscribers $29.97 per month, or $59.88 per year, to tell them where registered sex offenders live in relation to their houses, schools or other places they frequent. Users can set up email alerts for up to four addresses, install filters to monitor their children's online activity, and create profiles of their children to give to law enforcement if their children ever disappear.
Here's the catch: The sex offender information Kids Live Safe provides at cost can be accessed for free through the Missouri State Highway Patrol's website.
Detective Tom O'Sullivan, of the Boone County Sheriff's Department, said state and federal law require anyone who commits a sex crime to register as a sex offender. The registry includes a description of the person and their vehicle, where they live and work and what crime they committed. Missouri law requires the Highway Patrol to make such information available through its website at no cost.
Kids Live Safe representatives turned down multiple requests to speak on the record for this story. A company representative reached by phone said the subscription pays for tools government-run online databases cannot provide, such as the email alerts and filtering software.