Almost 40 percent of sex offenders outside city limits in violation of registry
Published 11:16 pm Thursday, March 30, 2017
The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department is cracking down on registered sex offenders that are not in compliance with the law.
With the help of the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the department has spent the last few days checking up on registered sex offenders in the county.
“Over the last three days, we divided into three teams consisting of all of the departments,” said Chief Deputy Randy Pugh with the sheriff’s department.
“We have 61 registered offenders in our jurisdiction, which is outside the city limits, and we were able to go out and try to check the compliance of each individual.”
Pugh said they checked on 61 registered sex offenders, and 24 of them were not compliant. State law requires sex offenders to register and notify law enforcement if there are any changes in where they live or work.
“We have filed 20 state warrants and four federal warrants for individuals that have crossed state lines and did not advise us of such,” Pugh said. “We started picking them up late [Wednesday] night, and we’ve got three or four so far. We’ll be working on those over the next 10 days.”
Pugh said there were a number of reasons the 24 registered sex offenders were noncompliant.
“They were either living in the wrong area, gave us a bad address or had left the area and not notified us that they left Dallas County, nor did they notify the county or state they were actually in, which made it Federal for those four,” he said.
Pugh said the operation came about when the department was contacted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office about two months ago. Pugh said the department has always monitored sex offenders, but have made some changes to make it more effective.
“We’ve monitored the in the past, but it wasn’t as organized as it should have been,” Pugh said. “We’ve tried to go out when we could not as an entire operation to try to do it, but at random, and it was working, but you still missed a lot.”
Pugh said the department will now have major checks every three to four months a year to make sure sex offenders are in compliance, as well as having random checks in-between.
The department was also able to purchase a new computer system at the jail that allows them to register the offender online right then and there, which will be sent to a database that is available to the public.
Pugh said it is important to keep a check on sex offenders because of the potential or problems.
“If [offenders] move out of here away from our jurisdiction and into another one, they need to be aware of it because of what the potential threats could be,” Pugh said. “We’ve had some problems, not just in this jurisdiction but in the state, from some that have really preyed on young kids.”
The state sex offender list can be found online at www.alea.gov/community. The database shows sex offenders within a certain radius of someone’s address and information about the offender as well as a photo.