Sheriff’s Office Offers New “Offender Watch," a Web Service Pinpointing Where Sex Offenders Live

Offender Watch provides more information in a user-friendly format.


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.

Mike Mylander July 12, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Hey Shana, they say it takes a village or community to raise a child. With this information you (we) can help watch out for part of their safety.
Shana Rowan July 13, 2012 at 03:32 PM
I think you missed something. Sex offenders have the LOWEST recidivism rates of all criminals except murderers, yet they are the only ones who have to register publicly. And believe it or not many of them have NOT victimized children and really just want to get on with their lives. Lastly, 96% of sex crimes are committed by those not on the registry, making its usefulness at protecting children extremely minimal. Wouldn't you rather see the resources spent on prevention and fact-based policies instead of myth-based practices?
McCloud July 13, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Actually there is no need for these type of databases. Quoting statistical surveys always seem to be the way for most of my leftist friends, but the need for such databases is eradicated by jailing the sexual predator for life. The guys who always escape scrutiny are the judges who release the convicted child molestor, who then is caught again with a family left in horror afterwards.
Valerie Parkhurst July 21, 2012 at 12:50 PM
There is no blanket rate of recidivism ..groups like Shana's love to throw out the "low rate of recidivism" when in fact stats are based on the individual researchers protocol..but you can bank its no where near what the RSOL groups like to pass off.. The REAL RECIDIVISM STUDIES 1) One approach is to extrapolate a true crime rate from victimization surveys and compare that with reported crime, typically finding that roughly 90% of sex crimes go unreported. Some put the estimate even higher.. 2)One of the main problems with recidivism studies is that all studies measure it differently and define it differently," 3)One long-term study of sex offenders from Canada measured recidivism seven ways. The highest rate, 88.3%, included prior, undetected sexual offenses "confessed" by first-time convicts. 4)But Ohio Northern University criminologist Keith Durkin points to anonymous surveys in which sex offenders "admit to as many undetected offenses as the number for which they have been caught". He views 50% as a "conservative" estimate for recidivism. 5)Young, violent offenders who suffer from mental illness, use alcohol or drugs and target very young victims "outside their family" pose the biggest risk. kinda blows that 1994 RSOL 5% BS right out the window Uh?
Michelle Smith August 22, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Good job to the authorities! I hope that they get to more cases like this as this really threaten the community. I would just like to share something I found on the internet, I am just glad I found this great application for my kids which is perfect for situations like this, which gets me connected to a Safety Network or escalate my call to the nearest 911 when needed, it has other cool features that are helpful for even your kids with just a press of a Panic Button. Check it here: http://www.SafeTREC.com


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