"The first thing I did when I took this job two months ago was to gather a list of the sex offenders' names and go meet them," Boes said. "I wanted to let them know they were going to see me coming around from time to time, to let them know I would make my presence known."
A no-nonsense officer, Boes, 53, believes his age is a big reason why he will be able to work with the sex offenders and get them to do the right thing as they re-enter society.
"A lot of them don't like it that I'm checking up on them, but I don't care. This is the way things are going to be done," he said. "I was raised the old-school way, with strong values and morals. If this is the one thing I can do for my community, then I've got a job to do, and that's to protect children."
Boes, the Sex Offender Registry Administrator at the sheriff's department, is committed to making sure the Indiana Sheriff's Association's Sex Offender Registry has the most complete and up-to-date information.
According to the most recent information provided by the Indiana Dept. of Correction, Boes has to 'check-up' on 42 registered sex offenders, ranging in ages between 20-77-years old, are living, working, attending school or visiting in Clay County.
Of those sex offenders listed, 15 are from Clay County, 14 are from other Indiana counties, eight are from other states (such as Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and four have no former addresses listed.
According to Boes's records, 12 sex offenders previously registered within Clay County have moved away. It is also his job to notify other communities when a sex offender changes their address or performs an exit registration.
"I have to know where a sex offender is at all times," Boes said. "And they better be where they say they're supposed to be. If not, I will develop a case and present it to the Clay County Prosecutor's Office. Many of them do not understand that it is a Class D felony to fail to register any change of address."
In Clay County, 24 offenders must register as 10-year, while 18 must register the rest of their lifetime. Local registered offenders have been convicted of various charges, including child molestation (60 percent), sexual misconduct or criminal deviate conduct with a minor (22 percent) and other violent crimes like rape or sexual battery (18 percent).
There are two main categories on the sex offender registry, 10-year and lifetime notification. The type of notification required by a sex offender is determined by the severity of their conviction.
When a sex offender complains about the inconvenience of having to register, Boes is not very sympathetic to their plight.
"Offenders all have excuses for what happened to them, but victims live with the stigma of what happened to them the rest of their lives. Offenders need to buck up and be responsible and pay the price for what they have done," Boes said, but he admits to trying to impart some knowledge and wisdom as well while talking to offenders. "Everyone has some type of skeleton in their closet. A person can wallow in their past crimes, or they can straighten up and move on to do the right thing in life. It's hard to do, but it is possible to make it through. It depends on just how much effort you are willing to put into changing your life around. Whether it clicks or not, I have no control over that, but at least I've left them with information they can use.
Working now to update information about current registered offenders, Boes volunteers approximately 20-25 hours a week to do the job because of some very special people.
"Adults can defend themselves, children can't," Boes said. "I have a large family and I'm a grandfather of several grandchildren. I want them to be safe. I want people to feel their children are safe, but law enforcement can't completely guarantee that. I see this job as a deterrent and, hopefully in doing so, it will help make the community a safer place for children."