AG Cooper launches new sex offender registry tools
Release date: 4/23/2007
Smithfield: North Carolinians can now get email alerts when a sex offender moves into their neighborhood or near their child’s school and can view maps that pinpoint offenders who live nearby, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.
“Families and neighborhoods will be able to use these new tools to plan for their safety,” said Cooper. “Knowing more about where offenders live will help communities stay vigilant about safety.”
People who visit the new sex offender website, available at www.ncdoj.gov, can search for offenders in their community, view maps and aerial photographs that show offenders’ home addresses, and sign up to get email alerts about offenders in their area. North Carolinians who sign up for alerts will receive emails notifying them when a registered offender moves near their home, local school, day care center or any other address they choose.
Using this new technology can help families, schools and neighborhoods better plan for their safety. For example, when day care operators and school officials receive an email, they can alert their staff and share the offender’s photograph. People can also sign up to get email alerts about a specific registered sex offender, a new tool that may be helpful for victims and their family members who want to know the location of a particular offender.
“Local law enforcement is working hard to protect the public from sex offenders,” said Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell. “A better website with detailed maps and email alerts will help.”
In addition, the website’s new advanced mapping technology shows exactly where registered offenders’ addresses are in relation to a given address within a one-mile, three-mile or five-mile radius.
“Sheriffs play a critical role in registering sex offenders so that the public can get this information that’s so important to their safety,” said Cabarrus County Sheriff Brad Riley, President of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association. “We’re glad that these new safety tools are now available to every community in our state.”
The NC Department of Justice Sex Offender Registry website includes photos, names, addresses and conviction information of registered sex offenders from across the state. Sex offenders are required by law to register with their local Sheriff’s office and to update the information that is made available to the public through the registry.
The website has long been a valuable tool for communities across the state since it was launched in 1998. However, a sex offender can change residences and many offenders move frequently. Thanks to the new site developed by Cooper’s office, users will now be able to learn about offenders in their area without having to continually check the sex offender registry website.
By making the public more aware of the location of registered sex offenders, the program can also help law enforcement crack down on sex offenders who move without providing a new address as required by law.