- Associated Press - Friday, December 26, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Charitable groups in Kansas City, Missouri, are being asked not to feed the homeless near parks or schools because it could violate a state law restricting where sex offenders are allowed.

The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/1zV2oL6 ) reports that police discovered a homeless camp in November on the city’s West Side. City spokesman Chris Hernandez said five registered sex offenders were living in a wooded area within 500 feet of a park and 1,000 feet of two elementary schools. State law aimed at protecting children prohibits sex offenders in those areas.

Police found that food was being delivered within the restricted area. State law that addresses the issue of knowingly aiding a sex offender means that those who provide the meals could be cited.

Hernandez said the schools near the homeless camp were notified. The camp has been dismantled and arrest warrants were issued for the sex offenders.

Hernandez said the city is not telling charitable groups not to feed the homeless, but they need to make sure not to do so near parks or schools.

“You have to be careful where you take your truck,” he said.

Amanda Waters, spokeswoman for the Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri, said the charity will heed the warning.

“We don’t want to break any laws,” she said.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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