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Grant preserves Island County sex offender program

The verification of sex offenders’ home addresses through face-to-face meetings with local police will likely continue for another year thanks to a state grant.

The Island County Sheriff’s Office was recently notified that it qualified for $72,000 to continue participation in the Registered Sex Offender Address and Residency Verification Program.

The program works by sending deputies to sex offenders’ homes to verify in person their place of residence.

Sheriff Mark Brown said the department was involved in the program for years, but funding nearly dried up last year.

It was only after the Washington Association of Sheriff’s and Police Chiefs lobbied to preserve funding that the state Legislature allocated $4.8 million for interested law enforcement agencies, Brown said.

The board will consider the grant agreement at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 14, in the commissioners hearing room in Coupeville.

If the board accepts the money, in-person contact would need to be made once every 12, six or three months, depending on the offenders’ status as a level one, two or three offender.

The grant would fund face-to-face visits until June 30, 2014.

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