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HCSO ‘OffenderWatch’ program to strengthen sex offender supervision

Holmes County Sheriff’s Office has launched a program that is expected to bolster the monitoring of sex offenders.

Sheriff John Tate says HCSO has joined OffenderWatch, a nationwide sex offender registry network. The network streamlines collaboration on investigations and sharing of critical information involving registered sex offenders with more than 4,000 other local law enforcement agencies across the country. 

In addition, residents of Holmes County can use the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office website and app to search for sex offenders residing in their neighborhood and to subscribe to receive e-mail alerts from the Sheriff’s Office. 

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there are approximately 917,771 registered sex offenders in the U.S. Of that number, there are approximately 31,831 in the state of Florida, and 85 registered offenders in Holmes County. However, agencies often use disparate systems for managing sex offenders. 

Sheriff Tate explains that OffenderWatch allows different law enforcement agencies to collaborate on a single offender record, improving accuracy and aiding in public safety.

“Holmes County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to join the coast-to-coast OffenderWatch network in order to better share information, coordinate investigations, and collaborate on sex offenders,” said Sheriff Tate. 

“When a registered offender moves from outside into Holmes County, deputies save countless hours researching and re-entering data because the offender record is seamlessly shared from one agency to the other. OffenderWatch builds a history of the data we have on file, and this facilitates registry staff, investigators and others working together.  So, our deputies can be more proactive in offender management and keeping the community aware.”

To learn more about OffenderWatch and sign up for email alerts on offenders, visit www.offenderwatch.com.  

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