Sheriff's Office Adds Offender Watch to Online Arsenal
Published on January 11 2017 3:41 pm
Last Updated on January 11 2017 3:41 pm
Written by Greg Sapp
With the new year, Sheriff Dave Mahon and the Effingham County Sheriff's Office launched a new sex offender registration and public notification website called Offender Watch.
"I am very excited to announce this latest use of technology to serve the citzens of Effingham County," stated Sheriff Mahon.
Effingham County will now be part of a nationwide network of over 5,000 law enforcement agencies that includes over 40 Illinois agencies. The new service is a citizen-friendly, easy to use website that enables citizens to search for potentially dangerous sex offenders and predators, which may be in close proximity to their homes, places of work, schools, churches and day care centers. The information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is updated in real time by the Effingham County Sheriff's Office as offender information changes and is reported.
As part of the new service, citizens may enter any address of interest to them, and see a map and listing of all offenders within a user-defined radius (of .25 miles out to two miles) of that address. Citzens can then register the address to be continuously monitored by the Sheriff, who will send an email alerting them if an offender or predator should register an address within the specified radius of their address. Citizens may confidentially register as many addresses as they like, at no cost to them.
"Citizens has a right to know who may be living near them and could potentially pose a threat to their families. The Illinois sheriffs and police departments using Offender Watch have the most up-to-date information on all offenders registered in the state, and I am happy to be able to provide that information to them," says Sheriff Mahon.
The Sheriff has also made available additional web-based resources designed to educate and inform the public on ways to keep their families safe. The purpose of the program is to lessen the anxiety of citizens by proactively alerting them should an offender/predator move within proximity of them, and to provide the highest level of security and safety to all Effingham County citizens. The program also enables the Sheriff to verify that offender addresses do not violate and safety buffers that may be implemented around protected institutions in the county, such as schools, day cares and parks, and helps law enforcement schedule compliance checks for verifying information provided by offenders.
Citizens can access the Offender Watch registry by clicking on the blue Offender Watch icon, just below the Sheriff's Office Patch on the Sheriff's page of Effingham County's website: www.co.effingham.il.us.