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New Web site improves monitoring of sex offenders

There’s a new Web-based program to enhance the monitoring of registered sex offenders in Island County and throughout the state, Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said.

Called “Offender Watch,” the program will help law enforcement officials track registered sex offenders and kidnapping offenders to ensure registration requirements are met, Brown said.

It will also help to make sure community notifications are sent, and that the public has access to information regarding registered sex offenders who may reside in their communities, he added. Offender Watch lets residents search a countywide and statewide database of Level II and Level III registered sex offenders. The program will also include Level I registered sex offenders who are transient.

Residents can enter any address, and the site will show a map and listing of offenders within two miles.

People also can register that address to receive an e-mail alert if an offender moves within two miles, Brown added. Residents can register more than one address. All information is confidential.

Offender Watch can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the Island County Sheriff’s Office Web site at www.islandcounty.net/sheriff. Developed by Watch Systems of Louisiana, the software is being used by more than 400 agencies in 31 states. The program is expected to be used throughout Washington.

“It will assist us in tracking offenders, providing current and accurate information to the public and enhancing our efforts to keep our communities safe,” Brown said.

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