SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash.-- The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office made changes to its website in June to help users keep tabs on registered sex offenders living in the area.
The sheriff's office posted a link titled “Sex Offenders Search” on its main web page. The Sheriff said the search enginge would replace hard copy notifications. Users can register with their name and address to receive e-mails with information about registered sex offenders within a 2 mile radius.
TRACK: Search for sex offenders in your area
The application provides users with a photograph of the offender, their level, their physical features and an address near the offender's actual address on file. Registered users receive e-mail notifications when a new offender moves into the radius they select, between .25 and 2 miles.
KREM 2 On Your Side tested out the new system and found there were 350 registered level II and III sex offenders living in the Spokane area. KREM 2 On Your Side used the website to notify a Spokane resident, and mother of five young girls, that there were seven of those offenders living within a quarter mile of her.
"I didn't know I had sex offenders living in my area until about two weeks ago when my neighbor told me," Jessica Haggarty said.
The sheriff's office said it was putting extensive resources into the website for that reason.The application is updated daily and is the most accurate way to notify the public of level II and III offenders living in Spokane County according to the Sheriff’s Office.
"It's real time, rather than the delays with volunteers going out," said Deputy Craig Chamberlin.
Haggarty said she planned to sign-up for the e-mail alerts after learning about them.
"I need to know as soon as posssible who's moving into my neighborhood," she said.
Authorities said users should get alerts within 24 hours of a new sex offender moving into their neighborhood. Crews were already working on a mobile app for the service in June.