Danville sex offenders' compliance checked in sweep

Danville sex offenders' compliance checked in sweep

DANVILLE – Danville police and the Illinois Attorney General's office conducted a special sweep of registered sex offenders in Danville last week and found at least 16 of 107 registered were not living at their registered address.

"We're constantly checking," said Doug Miller, deputy director of the Danville police department.

But Thursday's operation was a one-day sweep that allowed seven Danville officers and a team of seven from the attorney general's office to check all the offenders at once.

Public Safety Director Larry Thomason said the Danville police department has a full-time officer assigned to sex-offender compliance, working every day to check on and verify addresses of registered sex offenders.

"We know who's coming in and out (of the city) on a daily basis, but this was an annual sweep that's required by state statute," Thomason said.

According to state law, convicted sex offenders must register their address with local law enforcement to ensure that offenders are in compliance with other parts of the law restricting where they can live. If their address changes, they must register the change within a certain amount of time, or they are considered noncompliant. Thomason said offenders are restricted from living near schools, churches and playgrounds, for example.

Miller said the police department frequently gets changes of address for offenders, and the department must follow up to make sure the addresses are in compliance with state law and to make sure the offender is living there.

Scott Mulford, spokesman for the attorney general's office, said similar sweeps combining the attorney general's team and local law enforcement were done a couple weeks ago in Quincy and a couple months ago in East St. Louis.

He said the attorney general's team is very aggressive about these checks and tries to do them as much as possible to help encourage compliance by offenders.

The Danville check revealed that of the city's 107 registered sex offenders, 16 were not living at their registered address, 74 were in compliance and the remaining 17 were not home when investigators arrived. One offender was arrested on multiple outstanding warrants unrelated to his sex-offender status.

Notices were left at the 17 residences where offenders were not found at home. The notices tell the offenders to call a hotline within 24 hours to verify their address, or they will be considered noncompliant.

Thomason said the city's full-time officer will be following up on those cases as well. He said some may have been at work or just not at home at the time of the check. He said the Danville officer also will be working with the attorney general's office to locate the 16 offenders who were not in compliance, and it will be up to the attorney general's office and the Vermilion County state's attorney's office to handle any charges.

The attorney general's Sex Offender Registry Team, called I-SORT, was created in 2003 to encourage better compliance with the state's sex offender registry laws. As of Aug. 1, 2009, Illinois State Police records listed 20,555 registered sex offenders in Illinois.

On the Web

You can access the Illinois Sex Offender Registry at http://www.isp.state.il.us/sor/.

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