Net maps target offenders.. There Okay!


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Posted by Dezdan on January 08, 2003 at 22:48:10:

In Reply to: Re: Don't Leave Your Kids In Trona! (Breaking the Law!) posted by Bodie the Dog on January 08, 2003 at 18:36:35:

Net maps target sex offenders

Net maps target sex offenders
Sheriff expands Internet site to show locations of those considered serious and high-risk
By SCOTT VANHORNE/Staff Writer

VICTORVILLE — Registered sex offenders just got easier to find.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department launched an addition to its Web site Monday that allows anyone to view maps showing the general location of serious and high-risk offenders in areas served by the sheriff’s department.

“I think it’s an excellent thing,” First District Supervisor Bill Postmus said. “We think that it is imperative that citizens have the right to know who is living in their community.”

Sgt. Kurt Lackman of the Victorville sheriff’s station said the Web site is a welcome addition.

“The more information citizens have the better off they are,” he said. “Definitely, I can see the sex offenders complaining about it.”

Red triangles and yellow dots on the maps mark general areas where serious and high-risk sex offenders reside, and other icons point out the locations of schools and sheriff’s stations. The site does not list sex offenders’ names or any other information about them.

Disclaimers warn viewers not to use the information to harass sex registrants and that information on the site may not be completely accurate.

“Registrants may have moved in or out of the area and failed to notify the law enforcement agency as required by law,” the disclaimer reads.

On Monday, the site still had a note stating the interactive maps were coming soon, but the maps were accessible by clicking on “View Maps.”

Sheriff’s officials talked about starting a sex offender Web site this summer after Los Angeles County announced plans to start one. Officials were following in the footsteps of San Diego and Fresno counties, which already had online sex offender maps.

Before the interactive maps were added, residents could only get the zip codes where registered sex offenders live through the Megan’s Law computer located at the Victor Valley sheriff’s station in Victorville.

Megan’s Law was enacted by the California Legislature in 1996 following the death of 7-year-old Megan Kanka of New Jersey. Kanka was killed in 1995 by a convicted child molester who moved across the street without her family’s knowledge.

The computer gives sex offenders’ names, lists their crimes and most entries also have a photograph of the offender.

Serious risk sex offenders have been convicted of a felony sex crime such as child molestation, rape or sexual assault. High risk offenders have been convicted of multiple violent crimes including at least one sex crime.

People convicted of molesting a child in their immediate family or crimes such as statutory rape or possession of child pornography don't fall into either category and aren't listed on the computer database or the online maps.

When the Board of Supervisors approved funding for the online sex offender maps, they also provided the Sheriff’s Department with the means to hire a full-time detective to check up on offenders and make sure they are living at their registered addresses, Postmus said.



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