Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office, other agencies crack down on sex offenders

CANTON, Texas (KETK) – The Van Zandt County Sheriff’s office updated the community with a press conference discussing their recent multi-agency investigations into sex offenders on Thursday morning.

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“We’ve made several arrests in regards to child pornography, we’ve uncovered a child pornography promoter in our county and then along with some other arrests that are attributed to the exploitation of children,” said Lieutenant Bob Keltner with the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office.

At the beginning of the year, the county decided to take aggressive actions toward stopping child crimes and they started with sex offender compliance checks.

“To do these things it takes a lot of people, and we’ve got it done through the help with the people we have here and our outside partners,” said Van Zandt County Sheriff Joe Carter.

The Texas Department of Public Safety, Canton Police Department, the East Texas Anti-gang Task Force and a dozen other agencies all teamed to protect children from across East Texas.

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The Van Zandt County Child Advocacy Center, a resource for young victims of abuse, also played a major role in these investigations.

“Since the beginning of December, they have interviewed 80 children and 16 of them were last week alone,” said Keltner.

So far, these agencies have made contact with 62 of the 152 registered sex offenders in Van Zandt County.

“We’re seeing new sex offenders register almost weekly, it’s a priority for us to make sure that our community is safe with this influx of population,” said Keltner.

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They’re asking parents to help them serve and protect their community.

“Make sure they know what they’re doing on those computers and cell phones and… just be a parent and look out for your kids. It’s not an easy job either,” said Carter.

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