Know your neighborhood: Staying informed

As a law enforcement official, Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver has a clear view of the importance of maintaining an active registry of convicted sex offenders. But this hits even closer to home for Oliver – as a father of three children, he is personally aware of how important this information can be for parents who desire to keep their children safe.

To find information on the whereabouts of sex offenders in Franklin County, one need only look as far as the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office website.

Since 2012, the Sex Offender tab atwww.franklinsheriff.org has provided a full list of registered sex offenders in Franklin County as well as a map pinpointing the location of these sex offenders. By clicking the name of a listed offender, citizens can access a photo, identifying details and other information on each offender listed.

“There are certain neighborhoods where parents might not want their children to go because of offenders,” Oliver said. “It’s not to discredit or punish anybody; it’s just awareness for the children, and we’re required by law to make this public to people.”

Oliver said being informed on who might live in your area is important throughout the year – especially this time of year, as children are enjoying the outdoors and visiting friends’ houses, as well as strangers’ houses, for Halloween.

“You always want to make sure you know where your children are, who they are visiting and who they are with,” Oliver said.

“Halloween is a popular time for children to be out and about in their neighborhoods and communities, so this is a good time to research this type of information.”

Franklin County has 43 registered sex offenders who are required by law to register with the local sheriff’s office and give notification of where they live. This number only includes the offenders that require a public notice. Juveniles and those with non-notifiable offenses are not included in this number.

The Alabama Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Act, Section 15-20A-10, states, “Immediately upon release from incarceration, or immediately upon conviction if the adult sex offender is not incarcerated, the adult sex offender shall appear in person and register all required registration information with local law enforcement in each county in which the adult sex offender resides or intends to reside, accepts or intends to accept employment, and begins or intends to begin school attendance.”

Jennifer Puckett serves as the criminal division clerk for the FCSO, which includes being the sex offender registration clerk as well.

Because of the Alabama Sex Offender Registration Notification Act (ASORNA), Puckett said each person who falls into the category of being a sex offender (which is anyone who has been convicted of any charge listed in Section 15-20A-5) must check in with their local sheriff’s office on a quarterly basis.

To see a map of current registered sex offenders living in Franklin County as well as their names and their charges, see Oct. 12, 2016 edition.

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