Hundreds of calls a day are coming in to the sexual offender and predator hotline, more than five times the usual call volume.
Operator Phillip Suber explains that Florida’s laws requiring offenders to register, provides background on offenders in peoples’ neighborhoods, and even puts concerned citizens in touch with offenders’ probation officers.
“In fact, the probation officers are a good source of information about any restriction information, and also they have more information about offenses and things of that nature.”
You can also log onto the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s sexual offender registry website, search under your zip code, and call up pictures and background on every registered offender in the area. The site got more than 328,000 hits the day news broke of Jessica Lunsford’s murder.
FDLE’s Mary Coffee says it’s an interactive tool, and the agency is ready to help if you don’t find what you’re looking for.
Mary says, "If you just have a bad feeling about an individual and nothing you can actually put your finger on, but have a concern, we encourage folks to give us a call; we can do some research."
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement maintains files on more than 34,000 sex offenders, and the information is updated on the website daily. What the site won’t tell you is where someone is living if they move without notifying authorities, or whether an offender who hasn’t registered is living nearby, but you will see who is registered in your neighborhood to help you better protect your family.
The sex offender website would not have had information about the suspect in the Lunsford murder because he failed to notify authorities when he moved in with a relative.