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News Review
Tempe Police Kick Off New Sex Offender Notification Program: OffenderWatch
Posted Date: 10/29/2012
MEDIA RELEASE
Tempe Police Department
October 29, 2012
molly_enright@tempe.gov
480-858-6148

Tempe Police continue to build on our commitment to partnerships, in combination with the use of technology to fight crime. As part of our intelligence led policing initiative, we have just implemented a new program to enhance community safety.

The just-implemented Sex Offender Notification Program, ‘OffenderWatch’, is now available on the Tempe Police Website at tempe.gov/police.

The OffenderWatch hard launch is planned for Halloween week. To complement how the technology works hand-in-hand with boots-on-the-ground police operations, on Halloween night, Tempe Detectives will be engaged in a Sex Offender Monitoring Operation of Level 2 & 3 Offenders. Level 2 & 3 Offenders are mandated by law to register. Tempe Police work hard to ensure that those who have committed past Crimes Against Children are in compliance with their release and registration conditions. Additionally, this operation is targeted to protect children on Halloween, especially vulnerable as they Trick or Treat.

How Does OffenderWatch Enhance Public Safety in Partnership with our Community?
Community members are able to sign up at tempe.gov/police for alerts to notify if a sex offender moves into your neighborhood. Key personnel from schools and parks and recreation, as well as residents in a ¼ mile radius will receive notification from police that a sex offender has moved into the area.

Limited information on Level 2 and Level 3 (legally reportable) offenders is provided. The notifications include a mapping function, convictions, names addresses and photos. OffenderWatch has the added advantage of being timely and specific to Tempe, as uploaded by Tempe detectives. The site provides helpful tips and information for community safety.

How Does OffenderWatch Enhance Police Efficiencies, Capabilities and Responsiveness?
OffenderWatch includes a community component and a law enforcement-only component. Police Officers now are able to electronic transmit required paperwork and case documentation. This improves our efficiency with respect to registering and providing notification to our community.

Literally every moment counts during a child abduction or attempted luring, and makes this increased intelligence and technology capability especially critical. Detectives, Crime Analysts, Communications Staff and Police Officers patrolling our streets will have real-time access to information critical in the first moments, minutes and hours of a reported child crimes incident.

Chief Tom Ryff stated, “We are using OffenderWatch for investigations in Tempe and across our borders. The implementation of this program significantly enhances our ability to search locally, statewide, and nationwide for sex offender information. The program is a great example of our use of technology to prevent and fight crime; as well as a demonstration of the Tempe Police Department’s commitment to law enforcement and community partnerships. Having this data available to us immediately when a child is endangered can make a critical difference in being able to rescue someone’s child from a criminal predator.”

OffenderWatch is in use by more than 1,000 agencies nationwide; local agencies currently include Tempe PD, MCSO, Mesa PD, Glendale PD, and Avondale PD, with other metro area agencies reviewing the program currently.

Tempe Police Department wants to emphasize that it is important to assure that individuals subject to the sex offender registration protocols are in legal compliance. It is equally important to emphasize that we as a police agency protect the rights of everyone in our community.

Why is Sex Offender Awareness and Notification So Important?
As provided on our OffenderWatch website, statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show:
>45% of sexual assault victims are under 12 years old
>75% of victims know their attacker
>It is estimated that 80% of all addressed have at least one offender within 1 mile
>Over half of rape/sexual assault incidents occur within a mile of the victim’s home
>Sex offenders cross socio-economic boundaries, living in both affluent and less affluent neighborhoods. 

~~ Halloween Safety Tips~~