Exclusive: Inside look at how authorities track local sex offenders - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus

Exclusive: Inside look at how authorities track local sex offenders

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Everyday, Muscogee County Sheriff's Deputies Bridget Benedon and Earl Osbon snake through the city's streets, tracking close to three hundred local registered sex offenders.

Wednesday, only our cameras were rolling as the duo went from house to house and even to tents in the woods to check on where area offenders are living.

"We have a couple of sex offenders that are new to our registry because they were just released from prison and moved to Muscogee County or they moved from another state or county to Muscogee County," Benedon told News Leader 9.

"We are on this all year long- 24/7, 365 days a year. We're out here verifying that these sex offenders are where they are supposed to be," said Major Mike Massey with the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Department also uses a state of the art software system called Offender Watch to store all of the info deputies have compiled on offenders.

"It categorizes tattoos. It categorizes height, weight. So if we have an issue like we've had in the community lately, we can go to our sex offender database immediately and we can start categorizing these individuals based on physical features, vehicle features. We keep all that data and it separates it for us," Major Massey explained.

"Sex offenders, predators, child molesters- they tend to have the highest recidivism rate of any kind of inmate that you would see in prison. That's why it's very important that we're out there every day making sure sex offender are in compliance with the law because all it takes is for one to slip through the cracks and there you have another victim and that's what we're trying to avoid," added Benedon.

You can use the OffenderWatch program from the comfort of your home.

It's designed to let you see where registered sex offenders live in relation to you.

You can also register to be notified should a registered offender move within a mile of your home.

Click here to access the program:  http://sheriffalerts.com/cap_main.php?office=54072


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