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Tool Will Help Law Enforcement Track Sex Offenders

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4)- A new tool could help law enforcement agencies across Colorado keep track of registered sex offenders.

Currently, a database of sex offenders is available for the public to search. Law enforcement officers haven’t had access to a uniform database to use internally.

That means if an offender lives in Denver and moves to Adams County, the information doesn’t immediately transfer between police agencies that need to monitor that person.

“They move a lot. A bunch of them are transient. We know people fall through the cracks,” said Denver Police Sgt. Larry Valencia.

When sex offenders move, critical information needs to move with them so police don’t duplicate efforts to track them, like fingerprints, pictures and history.

“Right now that information exists in a file. It’s not searchable. If it’s available digitally, then it can be searched by a police department. If there’s a sex offender who drives a white truck, then they can search all the sex offenders who drive a white truck and have a list of suspects,” said Colorado Department of Public Safety spokesman Chris Lobanov-Rostovsky.

Police and sheriff’s departments across the state will soon have one system to track offenders. The files are electronic and there are ongoing notes on each offender. When he moves, so does his file, even alerting the new jurisdiction that monitors him.

“They could be going back to those crimes and committing more sex assaults,” said Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman John Fabbricatore.

“Time is of the essence. That one guy falling through the cracks might be the one guy you’re looking for in the next abduction,” said Valencia.

“The public wants to know where sex offenders are and that they’re being managed. They want to take protective action for themselves and their children,” said Lobanov-Rostovsky.

The upgrade is a requirement for the national Adam Walsh Law. To be compliant, Colorado will still need to make a sex offender’s employment information available to the public.

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