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03-31-2005

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 10 months ago

March 31, 2005

HEALEY LAUNCHES HIGH-TECH TOOL TO TRACK SEX OFFENDERS

 

 

LOWELL – Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey today announced that 50 Massachusetts police departments and criminal justice agencies will utilize an advanced, state-of-the-art computer database to track dangerous sex offenders and other wanted criminals in violation of state law.

 

“We are going to help local authorities track down dangerous sexual predators who hide from the law,” said Healey. “Police departments need the best technology available to them in order to protect families in the Commonwealth.”

 

As part of a $50,000 state-funded pilot project beginning next month, Massachusetts will become the first state in the nation to provide municipal police departments with access to enhanced address and contact information free of charge. This new tool will help law enforcement officials apprehend sex offenders who fail to register or do not provide updated address information with the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board as required by law.

 

LocatePLUS Inc., a national database service provider, was contracted by Governor Mitt Romney’s administration to provide law enforcement with access to information gathered from national consumer files and public records.

 

Forty of the licenses are available to local police departments that have the highest registered sex offender populations within their communities. Seven additional licenses will be shared regionally among smaller communities that have a lower population of sex offenders with the remaining three going to the Criminal History Systems Board, the Sex Offender Registry Board and the Massachusetts State Police.

 

Through the Commonwealth’s Criminal Justice Information System, law enforcement agencies will be able to search the LocatePLUS public data system for up-to-date location information on a wanted individual.

 

“The law requires sex offenders to notify law enforcement of their address, but as we know, this honor system is not enough,” said Public Safety Secretary Edward A. Flynn. “Tools like Locate Plus are critical to helping police keep children and families safe from harm.”

 

Since launching an intensive operation to track down unregistered sex offenders in the fall of 2003 at the direction of Governor Romney, the Sex Offender Registry Board has partnered with the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Squad to locate nearly 3,000 sex offenders.

 

Currently 8,754 sex offenders are registered in Massachusetts and 4,784 offenders are either unregistered or in violation of state law. Since 90 percent of those unregistered offenders were convicted prior to the enactment of the Sex Offender Registry Law in 1996, LocatePLUS’s technology will help the Sex Offender Registry Board further identify which of those offenders in violation have died, are incarcerated, have left the state or live in Massachusetts at a different address.

 

The advanced technology will also help state and local police monitor sex offenders in the community to ensure that offenders are providing current, accurate address information.

 

“The Lowell Police Department has an aggressive policy of tracking down unregistered sex offenders and actively pursuing any offender who is in violation,” said Lowell Police Chief Edward Davis. “LocatePLUS has been extremely effective in our efforts to determine valid addresses and locate these dangerous individuals. I am grateful for the support of Lieutenant Governor Healey and the Executive Office of Public Safety in providing access to this necessary public safety tool.”

 

Based in Beverly, MA, LocatePLUS provides access to their Internet database to over 2,000 law enforcement agencies across the country, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

 

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