The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office announced it was unveiling a new sex offender Web site. You can see it by following this link. The full press release is after the jump. You can visit the Pierce County sex offender Web site here.
Sheriff Dan Kimball has implemented a new web based sex offender site (funded by the legislature) for the public to get information on registered sex offenders living in Thurston County. This is the latest piece of an ongoing program at the Sheriff’s Office to protect the public from predatory offenders.
Over the last two years, the Sheriff has implemented several steps to improve the monitoring of registered sex offenders. These include quarterly registration days where all level two and three offenders must show up in person to verify their address. Transient offenders must show up every Monday at the Sheriff’s Office to list where they have been staying. In 2007, we started issuing "Wanted Sex Offender" press bulletin and partnering with the Department of Corrections to apprehend registered sex offenders who have warrants for their arrest as part of "Operation Crackdown".
Recently, with a grant from the Washington Association of Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs, we have began going to the offender’s actual home and verifying they are living there as well as collecting their D.N.A. for the statewide database. This effort has been able to verify the addresses of 88 level 1 offenders (a group that got very little attention in the past) and collected 183 D.N.A. samples in the first two months of the program. Funds were provided for this effort from the Governor’s Office to W.A.S.P.C.
In addition, we are partnering with the D.O.C. and using their G.P.S. tracking system on offenders under our mutual supervision to determine if transients are being truthful in reporting their whereabouts and if not, arresting them. All of these efforts had led to a reduction in the number of registered offenders in this county from a high of 700 in 2005 to 680 currently.
The Sheriff’s Office new website is hosted by OffenderWatch® through a contract with W.A.S.P.C. to provide this service throughout the state. Thurston County is one of the first to use the system and allow the public to access it.
OffenderWatch® is the nation’s leading registered sex offender management and community notification tool with hundreds of leading agencies in dozens of states utilizing it. The Sheriff’s Office utilizes OffenderWatch® to manage and monitor the whereabouts, conduct, and compliance status of the registered offenders in Thurston County. OffenderWatch® provides the most accurate and timely information available and now this information is available to the public through our website. http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/sheriff/ then click on Sex Offender Watch. Citizens may enter any address in the county and see real-time information on the publishable offenders within a one-mile radius of the address you enter.
All of these efforts, in combination, help increase our ability to monitor these offenders, become more efficient in how we perform that service, as well as being more effective at uncovering violations and prosecuting the offenders who violate the law.