A new sex offender registration and public notification website, Offender Watch, will give parents and citizens more access to information about sex offenders in their area, McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren said.
The McHenry County Sheriff’s office will be part of a nationwide network of over 4,500 law enforcement agencies, which includes over half of the Illinois Sheriff’s offices and police departments, Sheriff Keith Nygren said.
Offender Watch is available on the sheriff’s new website.
The new service is a citizen-friendly, easy to use website that enables citizens to search for potentially dangerous sex offenders and predators which may be in close proximity to their residence and other important locations.
Information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is updated in real time by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office as offender information changes and is reported, Nygren said in a release.
“Citizens have a right to know of those sex offenders that may be living near them and could potentially pose a threat to their families. I am happy to share McHenry County’s sex offender registration information on this data base to assist all other law enforcement agencies as well,” Nygren said.
As part of this new, innovative service, citizens may enter any address of interest to them. They then see a map and listing of all offenders within a “user defined radius” (.25 miles to 2 miles) of that address. Citizens can register an address to be monitored by the Sheriff’s Office. An email alerting the citizen will be sent out if an offender or predator should register an address within the specified radius of their registered address. Citizens may confidentially register as many addresses as they like, at no cost to them.
Through the Offender Watch link, additional web based resources are designed to educate and inform the public on ways to keep their families safe. The purpose of the program is to lessen the anxiety of citizens by proactively alerting them should an offender/predator move within proximity to them, and to provide the highest level of security and safety to all McHenry County citizens.
This program also enables the Sheriff’s Office to verify that offender addresses do not violate any safety buffers that may be in place around protected institutions in the county, such as schools, day care centers, work places, and parks, while helping law enforcement schedule compliance checks for verifying information provided by offenders, Nygren said.