By Lauren Trager
Conway County Sheriff (Faceboook) Mike Smith hasn't always been an internet savvy guy. But to keep people safe, he's says, he'll give anything a try.
"It being the information age, we are going to use everything that we can," Sheriff Smith said.
That's why, he says, he started posting sex offender's information to the sheriff office's Facebook page.
- So what all the other criminals who are more of a threat to children and adults?
Each complete with a picture, name, exact address and criminal offense.
"I want to know about it and I want to make sure the folks know about it," Sheriff Smith said.
But some say, it's simply too much.
"What they are doing is carrying it way too far," said Lora, a family member of a sex offender who wanted to stay anonymous.
She doesn't like the comments people have posted on site.
"When you put it out on Facebook where others can comment on it, that's just hurtful," she said.
- And we personally think that is their objective, to name and shame, but just wait until Mr. Smith's own child or family member is put on the list! I am willing to bet he'd not post that photo on Facebook.
And she says she's worried sex offender's family members will be targeted with their address available for all the see.
"But what about the people who live in these houses, do they get no rights either?" she said.
The state's registry site, she notes, doesn't display specific addresses. Level 1 offenders are excluded from the state's site all together. But that's not so on the sheriff's Facebook page.
|Sheriff Mike Smith|
Lora says it's a violation of rights she plans to fight.
But the sheriff says, like sex offenders themselves, the site isn't going away anytime soon.
"If there was an island we can stick them all off on, that would be great, but it's not that way," said Sheriff Smith.
At least four other sheriff's offices do something similar.
The state says it's not illegal for sheriffs to post sex offenders to Facebook, though they wouldn't recommend putting the least violent offenders on there.