A new program from the State Highway Patrol will send you an e-mail when a registered sex offender changes his address.

The new program continues the enhancements of the State Highway Patrol Sex Offender Registry Web site, says Captain Tim Hull. Hull asks Missourians to be patient as traffic to the Web site and requests for e-mails ramps up and slows down the system.

“People are becoming aware of it and as they do, again, you may just have to be patient, but the system is going to get slowed down just because the number of users that are on there, especially as we’re coming in closer to the Halloween time period when this is a big concern for parents and their kids out Trick or Treating,” Hull says.

More than 1,000 Missourians sign up for the e-mail alerts on Monday.

Established in 1995, the sex offender registry debuted on the Web in 2004. The next year, a data base with search features including maps was added. Now, the e-mail alerts are available free of charge.

Hull says the Patrol hasn’t made a projection on how many people might sign up.

“It’s hard to tell at this point,” Hull says. “Bringing it up and bringing it functional, like it is now, the week before Halloween, I’d say we’re going to get a lot of hits.”

State law prohibits convicted sex offenders from participating in Halloween activities. Registered sex offenders must remain inside their homes between 5pm and 10:30pm Halloween evening. They must post a sign at their home notifying children that no candy is available. Outside lights also must be off.

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [1:15 MP3]