Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Sheriff´s Office is introducting its OffenderWatch web site this week.
In February, 2005 nine year old Jessica Lunsford was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and buried alive. In March, 2005 10 year old Jetseta Gage of Iowa was kidnapped, raped and murdered. In April of that same year 13 year old Sara Lunde from Florida was choked to death in her home and her body was dumped in a pond.
In three months time three young girls were brutally murdered, two of them raped and all by registered sex offenders. In the first case the offender lived 150 yards from the child´s home. In the other two cases the offenders were friends of family members, yet not one parent knew they either lived near, or were associating with, a registered sex offender.
Sheriff Jim Mele explains that OffenderWatch is an internet based, searchable database containing public information about registered sex offenders living in Tuolumne County. This web site is similar to the Megans Law database yet more technically advanced and user friendly.
The significant difference between OffenderWatch and the Megans Law database is the community notification aspect of the system that is offered. By signing up through the OffenderWatch link for the sexual offender e-mail alert, citizens will initially receive a return e-mail notifying them of all sexual predators living within one mile of each address they choose to register. Automatic followup e-mails will notify residents when a sexual predator registers at a location within a one-mile radius of their home.
In addition you can register multiple addresses such as your babysitter´s home, day care facility, school, church, office or homes your children frequently visit.
The e-mail notification system also contains a link to view a map of where each predator resides and other available information such as a photograph and physical description.
For additional information click Offender Watch Website.
Written by Bill Johnson