|VW Sheriff conducts checks on registered sex offenders|
|Wednesday, March 05, 2014 9:15 PM|
VAN WERT — Van Wert County Sheriff Thomas M. Riggenbach announced that deputies recently conducted a random address verification on all registered sex offenders for Van Wert County.
Riggenbach stated that Ohio law requires all sex offenders to register in person with the sheriff on a scheduled periodic basis to verify their address, employment, school affiliation, telephone numbers, vehicles and Internet identities.
The in-person periodic verification registrations are scheduled with each offender depending upon their offender risk classification. The offender risk classification will have an offender register either every 90 days, every 180 days or once annually.
Riggenbach also said that Ohio law requires all sex offenders to notify and register immediately with the sheriff any change of residential address, place of employment, enrollment in a school or institution of higher education, telephone numbers, vehicles and Internet identities.
According to Riggenbach, deputies conducted the most recent random address verification checks between February 24-28.
Deputies verified the addresses for all 50 registered sex offenders residing in Van Wert County. To complete the random address verifications, deputies went to the residential address of each offender. The random verifications included both adult and juvenile registered offenders. It was found that every registered offender in Van Wert County was in compliance with their registration requirements.
Riggenbach said the random address verifications conducted last week by deputies is authorized by Ohio law, but not required. This marks the third time random address verifications of registered offenders in Van Wert County have been conducted in the last year.
Riggenbach also said his office has already prosecuted one registered sex offender this year for Failure to Register, because the offender failed to timely register a change of address as required by law.
Riggenbach stated his office will continue to take the extra steps of random address verification as a matter of public safety to assure an offender’s compliance to make it clear that there is zero tolerance for non-compliance. Riggenbach also stated his office will continue to investigate and prosecute any registered sex offender who fails to meet their legally required sex offender registration requirements.
Riggenbach encourages residents to visit the “Sex Offender” page of the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office website at www.vanwertcountysheriff.com. Residents can click the “Sex Offenders” link on the left side of the page to learn more about Ohio’s sex offender laws. Residents can then click on the “Click Here To” link to search for sex offenders living in their neighborhood or any other area they may be interested in. Residents can also register to receive automatic emails from the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office anytime a registered sex offender registers an address within 1/4 mile to two miles away from any address the resident designates. Currently, 7.2 percent of Van Wert County residents are signed up to receive automated emails from the Sheriff’s Office on sex offenders.
Riggenbach asks residents to contact the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office with any information involving registration violations of sex offenders or other crimes. Residents can call the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office at 419-238-3866 or use the Sheriff’s Office website and click on the “Submit a Crime Tip” link. Residents can remain anonymous when reporting information to the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office.