Monitoring registered sex offenders in St. Joseph County can be difficult, officer says

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By: Krystal Vivian kvivian@953mnc.com

At least 359 sex offenders are living in St. Joseph County, but some people may not be aware of where offenders are located.

Sgt. Sonny Oakley with the St. Joseph County Police Department told WSBT that people should check to see if there are sex offenders in their neighborhoods, especially parents.

Oakley said that he is one of two officers with the department responsible for monitoring sex offenders on the registry who live or work in St. Joseph County, which can be a difficult task.

Police are required by law to check in on sex offenders at least once a year, but address may not always be accurate.

State law requires those on the registry to notify local police within seven days of changes to updates to their home, school, work or volunteer. But making sure that offenders follow state law can be difficult for just two officers, Oakley said.

“We have sex offenders that will come in on a Monday and say that they are at 123 Main Street and then seven days later, we go to 123 Main Street to see if they are there, and they are gone,” Oakley told WSBT.

Indiana residents and business owners can look up sex offender information in the free online registry. The registry can be searched by a specific address or by city, phone number or email address of the offender.

Here are the numbers of sex offenders registered by city:

  • South Bend – 263
  • Mishawaka – 57
  • Granger – 14
  • Walkerton – 8
  • New Carlisle – 8
  • Osceola – 7
  • Lakeville – 1
  • Roseland – 1