SHERIFF GARRISON ANNOUNCES WEB TOOL FOR TRACKING SEX OFFENDERS

SHERIFF GARRISON ANNOUNCES WEB TOOL FOR TRACKING SEX OFFENDERS

Doña Ana County Sheriff Todd Garrison today announced the launch of a sex-offender database linked to the homepage of the Doña Ana County website at www.donaanacounty.org.

“Offender Watch” is a program that allows Doña Ana County residents to identify sex offenders in their neighborhoods and to sign up for automated e-mail alerts when sex offenders move into the area. The program also allows residents to search the database by a suspect’s name or by identifying all offenders within a one-mile zone around any individual street address. .

Unlike the sex-offender website operated by the State of New Mexico, Offender Watch is updated daily by personnel within the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department. As a result, the information is kept current and the likelihood of misidentifying someone as a sex offender is largely eliminated.

Sex offenders featured on the site are those who are registered with the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department as required by law. Each offender is identified by address with an accompanying photograph and a list of the sex crimes for which s/he has been convicted.

The site also features a significant amount of information and safety tips related to the prevention of sexual abuse. In addition, local e-mail and telephone contact information is posted to assist the public in getting quick answers to any questions about policies, procedures and movement related to locally registered sex offenders.

Garrison said the program was paid for using seized-asset funds related to narcotics arrests. The initial cost of the program was $5,000, with a $3,000 annual maintenance agreement. Doña Ana County is the first county in the State of New Mexico to offer the Offender Watch package.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (575) 525-5801.