Pawnee County Deputies are searching Pawnee County this week, checking to make sure every registered sex offender is living where they are supposed to be.

The sheriff’s office says there are at least 70 registered sex offenders living in the county. Sheriff Darrin Varnell wants his deputies to have a hands-on and boots-on-the-ground approach to law enforcement. Deputies with help from The U.S. Marshals are going door to door to make sure all sex offenders in the county are accounted for and in compliance with the rules.

 “It is very important. We need to know where they are at all times for the safety of the public,” said Pawnee County Undersheriff Dave Oehm.

Undersheriff Oehm says if a sex offender isn’t following the rules, or has failed to register, they could be arrested.

“It’s more of a public safety issue that we know exactly where they are at, what vehicles they are driving, and all their information is updated where they are supposed to be so they can be monitored,” said Oehm.

The sheriff's office has only 12 deputies to cover 600 square miles, but they say that isn’t stopping them from being out in the community. They say a lot of their help comes from their reserve deputies, who volunteer their own time to help.

“Sheriff Varnell, one of his campaign promises was to have more boots on the ground which means we are taking more of a proactive instead of reactive approach to law enforcement,” said Oehm. “We are still going to be proactive even though we are a small agency and if we have to outsource to other agencies for assistance then we will.”

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Author Reagan Ledbetter