KANSAS CITY — Missouri is the 20th state to join a nationwide sex offender registry.

OffenderWatch said in a news release that every Missouri law enforcement agency that manages or investigates registered sex offenders will be able to collaborate on offender records, aid each other in investigations and share notifications with the public. It won a five-year contract from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Missouri has about 16,000 registered sex offenders.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children says there are more than 900,000 registered sex offenders in the United States.

OffenderWatch says its service allows different law enforcement agencies to collaborate on a single offender record, improving accuracy and aiding in public safety. Its technology is used by more than 3,000 law enforcement agencies in 37 states.

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