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New online registered offender database for Crawford County - KOAM TV 7

New online registered offender database for Crawford County

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A new online database lets Crawford County residents be better informed of criminals living nearby.  Registered offenders must report to the Crawford County Sheriff's office four times a year, as directed by a judge.  

This new online database shows information about offenders, like many other databases.  But something else is also offered.  The purpose of this database, as with other similar databases, is to make people more vigilant against possible danger.

 Criminals beware:  Crawford County Sheriff Dan Peak wants to make it harder to sneak.

"This is the first time we've offered anything to the community like this," says Peak.

Christina Hess has two children, with another on the way.

"Definitely, as they got older, if I was thinking about letting them walk down to the school by themselves, I'd probably wouldn't do that if I was aware of if there were sex offenders in the area," says Hess.

Hess says that goes for drug offenders and violent crime offenders, too.

"I would want to know who is right down the street," says Sheriff Peak.

Click into this:  A new online database on the Crawford County Sheriff's website, which a list of registered offenders that's searchable by home address.  You type in yours, and theirs pop up with a picture of the offender and description of their crime.

"It's something that is allowed by law, so why not take advantage of that," says Sheriff Peak.

Similar databases can be found on the Kansas Bureau of Investigation's website.  But on the sheriff's website, you can also sign up for e-mails to alert you when a registered offender moves into your community.  

This could be useful for people like Hess who don't check these databases often, or at all.

"That would definitely be easier.  I think part of the reasons I really haven't checked into it is because it's kind of out of sight, out of mind.  So I don't sit down and think about that," says Hess.

Schools in the area may especially find this new program beneficial.  Some sexual offenders are allowed to live closer to schools than other sexual offenders.

"Most offenders have a 1,000 feet rule.  There are exceptions to that," says Sheriff Peak.

But knowledge is power.

"It would probably just make me feel safer.  Or, I guess on the bad flip side, it would maybe make me feel less safe.  But at least I would know," says Hess.

The cost to support this database, operated by a third party, is $1,250 a year.  The county pays for this by using fees paid by offenders to register.

There are 105 offenders in Crawford County, 80% of whom are sexual offenders.

The Crawford County sheriff says since the program is new, some features, including the e-mail alerts, may not work right now.  The sheriff says everything should be fully functional by the end of next week.

Click here to access the county's database.

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