Registered Sex Offender

January 25, 2012 by staff 

Registered Sex Offender, In the wake of this week’s devastating tornadoes, lawmen are taking care of an important, but little-known, task that follows natural disasters — tracking displaced registered sex offenders.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Sex Offender unit identified 10 registered sex offenders that lived in the neighborhoods hit by Monday’s EF-3 twister. Of those, six of them had been hit by the storm, said sheriff’s Sgt. Jacob Reach.

“We went out and rode all the affected areas and checked on addresses,” Reach said. “We’re going to make sure we know where they are.”

Post-storm tracking of sex offenders became an issue following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. An estimated 2,000 registered sex offenders fled the Gulf region to seek shelter in other states, and some vanished from the required tracking all together.

All states are required to have sex offender registries, and people convicted of sexually violent offenses are required to register their current addresses.

The confusion that followed led to new requirements that the Federal Emergency Management Agency share with law enforcement contact information on registered sex offenders receiving disaster assistance.

Reach said the sex offenders affected by this week’s storm lived on the northwest and northeast sides of Center Point, and a section off Old Springville Road in the Clay area. Some had structural damage; others simply were forced to leave because of a lack of electricity.

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