Local sex offender registry available

By Zachary brictson

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office has implemented a sex offender registry service for residents in DeKalb.

The “OffenderWatch” service can be accessed through the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office website.

According to the site, the registry is instantly updated throughout the day as information about offenders is received.

Lt. Joyce Klein of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office said the service has already been available in the state of Illinois, but the update has allowed for more convenient features for DeKalb residents.

Users can search by name or address, as well as observe a radius around their home, Klein said.

Klein said the best part of the new program is the fact that residents can enter the information of a nearby sex offender and stay updated on their location.

“If that person moves, you will be notified,” Klein said.

This e-mail notification system was the primary reason for the update, Klein said.

Megan Brienen, a sophomore broadcast media major, said that because the sex offender label could mean various things, she wouldn’t be immediately worried.

“It’s such a broad term,” Brienen said.

Klein said that for someone to be registered as a sex offender, they must be convicted with charges such as predatory criminal sexual assault, child pornography or criminal sexual assault.

DeKalb resident Susan Ficken said she personally wouldn’t be worried about living near a sex offender.

Ficken said, however, she couldn’t say the same for others.

“I’m not sure how I would feel about it if I had kids,” Ficken said.

According to the state’s sex offender information website, 74 registered sex offenders currently reside in DeKalb County.