Is there a sex offender living in your neighborhood?
A revamped Sexual Offender Registry from the TN Bureau of Investigation makes it easier to tell.
The TBI unveiled its redesigned registry last week, and it says the new product is clearer and easier to understand.
“In thinking about updates to the registry, we’ve worked to listen to feedback from the public and our law enforcement partners,” said Shelly Smitherman, TBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge. “We’ve also looked at surrounding states for ideas we think will make ours easier to use and more helpful to the public.”
The new Sex Offender Registry is the result of more than two years of planning and programming. It offers more robust email notifications, a heightened focus on fugitive offenders and, perhaps most useful, an interactive map that pinpoints the residential addresses of registered sex offenders.
The TBI used $180,000 in grant funding from the U.S. Dept. of Justice to fund the program and contracted with Steeple Technologies to make the new registry a reality.
When visiting the new Sex Offender Registry — sor.tbi.tn.gov — users will first get a disclaimer that cautions them how the information included in the registry should, and should not, be used. Then they’ll be met with a list of fugitive offenders who are in violation of the state’s sex offender registry laws and are being sought by the TBI.
Finally, users of the registry can search for an offender just as they’ve always done, using a name, zip code, or city or county of residence. Or, new to the registry, they can view a map of offenders in their neighborhood.
The interactive map’s first-glance view shows 81 registered sex offenders in Scott County. As users drill deeper into the map, they find that the registry is color-coded. Regular sexual offenders are denoted by an orange map icon, while sexual offenders whose victims were children are denoted by a red icon.