Thursday, January 10, 2013

IN - New law enforcement tool finds sex offenders at local malls (Shopping sex offenders? Oh the horror!)

Original Article

OMG, sex offenders are shopping, oh the horror!


By Kent Erdahl

For years, online registries have allowed people to search for sex offenders near their home, but now the Marion County Sheriff’s Department is using new technology to see where sex and other violent offenders go when they’re not at home.

A $500,000 federal grant has enabled the sheriff’s department to equip four vehicles with highly sensitive cameras that capture and process license plate information. The grant also funds overtime needed to patrol high traffic areas like schools, parks and malls.

Whenever we pass by a vehicle it will beep to me,” said CPL Brad Allen, pointing to the computer in his Marion County Sheriff’s Department cruiser. “That means that it’s been read.”

Allen showed Fox59 how the cameras work even while driving at high speeds. They also run license plate information through law enforcement databases in real time, checking for expired licenses plates, outstanding warrants and registered sex offenders.

It’s helped out tremendously,” Allen said.

One plate reader device has the capability of reading up to 100 license plates per minute,” said Captain Michael Hubbs with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. “So I don’t know if you could have enough man power to ever do that.”

During a special holiday shopping enforcement in December, deputies patrolling mall areas used the cameras to find cars belonging to 73 registered six offenders along with 42 people wanted on warrants associated with vehicles. The new technology also led directly to one felony arrest for a sex offender violation.
- OMG, shopping sex offenders, everybody run to the hills!

Hubbs said that the discrepancy between sex offenders and arrests is because some may not be barred from malls. Still, he said the technology allows law enforcement to keep tabs on them and that even one arrest is significant.

I’d say absolutely it’s worth it because the arrest speaks for itself,” said Captain Hubbs. “Who knows what that person could have been up to?
- So one arrest is worth spending $500,000 on?

For Corporal Allen, it’s helping him keep better tabs on the 1,500 registered sex offenders in Marion County every single day.

I check all the schools to make sure that there’s no sex offenders there,” Allen said.


Randy said...

What happens when the car is being driven by an RSOs spouse or other family member/friend? Also, how many cars driven by RSOs are in someone else's name and the tag info doesn't come back as an RSO?

Loneranger said...

So now they have solid proof that sex offenders go to the mall's. Sex offenders go to schools,churches and I'm sure every other place people go. And what are they doing there? OMG they could be doing anything. Like shopping or picking up their kids. they violated one person for being someplace he wasn't supposed to be. Well then there is that one child they think they saved. Still can't say who but surely they did a good thing. I watched 1984 the other day and this is getting to look alot like the movie. With or without this new technology the person they violated shouldn't have been where he was. This doesn't mean every single person that they force to register is hanging out at the malls for no good reason. But now they are supper cops and can patrol the streets with an eye in the sky so to speak. but what are they going to do with such power? Miss interpreting all they see. One has to wonder if they will check out each and every person that might be some place they feel is suspicious. They can't know why a person is someplace and so it goes. They talk about man power and how they couldn't have done this with the people they have. I think they will need more to check out all the dead ends they are creating with being overly suspicious. Or are they warming up to make a case to ban sex offenders from shopping. Does make one wonder.

Damian said...

This is EXACTLY why I own NOTHING in my name!

deathklok said...

It sounds like a lucrative investment opportunity. !0 yrs. from now these handy little devices will likely be attached to all controlled intersections as well as mounted on freeway overpasses. The monitors will all feed into a central database and this information will be used to protect us. It'll allow investigators to know what vehicles were in the neighborhood when a bank was robbed or a child was abducted. It'll also allow the computers to build profiles or journals of individual drivers habits and commonly traveled paths; similar to all those club cards all the chain stores are passing out. We're all being watched.

nathan rabalais said...

He said as long as they are picking up there kids and dropping them off that's understandable but he doesn't want them hanging around the schools

nathan rabalais said...

And people ask me why I don't have a car this is one reason

Serentiy said...

One thing I try to avoid as much as possible is to do anything ALONE. If you don't have someone that can vouch for your behavior and/or actions, it is generally better to avoid being out and about.

I do go shopping - and try to finish it as fast as possible. Christmas shopping? OMG - no way. In a world where we are presumed guilty, not having an alibi is a bad idea.

I realize that many of us have to do things on our own, like drive to work, walk to the grocery store, etc. In regards of tracking vehicles and driving patterns - they've been doing it for a while. We live in a police state in all but name. That is the harsh reality as the civil liberties of all (not just XSO's) have been systematically chipped away in the name of public safety, anti-terrorism and crime prevention.

For us - it is impossible to have a "normal" life. That is the sad truth. The powers that be put obstacles in our way because they want us to fail - which then justifies the fact that more restrictions and more punishment actually work. For example, in Virginia, if an XSO moves, changes work, buys a car, etc - those changes must be updated with the State Police in 3 days. There is only one reason why it is 3 days and not 1 day. That reason is the weekend. Having a Saturday and a Sunday when the government is officially closed is the only reason why it is 3 days. It used to be 10 days. God forbid that the nearest State Police barracks only does registrations on M-W-F.