03/02/11

SEX OFFENDER E-MAIL ALERT SYSTEM

SAN DIEGO – Board Chairman and Fifth District Supervisor Bill Horn and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher announced the introduction of Assembly Bill 1022 Wednesday, March 2, at the County Administration Center.

In an effort to increase communities’ awareness of sexual predators, AB 1022 proposes a change to state law enabling local governments and law enforcement agencies to provide community notifications though e-mail subscription as well as on Internet websites.

“Registered sex offenders are a clear threat to the safety of our neighborhoods and we must continually search for new and better ways to inform and protect the public,” said Horn. “This proposed legislation is a great example of government embracing technology to improve the safety of residents.”

The notification tool on the Megan’s Law website currently allows the public to seek out the information of registered sexual offenders’ information online.

Supervisor Horn set out to more proactively inform the public about the whereabouts of registered sex offenders in May 2010, proposing an e-mail alert service that would notify subscribers when the database changes. However, current law prohibits the disclosure of such information via e-mail.

AB 1022 seeks to amend Sections 290.45 and 290.46 of the Penal Code, relating to sex offender registration. The proposed legislation will allow residents to receive e-mail alerts including an offender’s name, photo, offense(s) and address all within the message. This proposed legislation creates a more proactive approach to informing residents about the 4,000 sex offenders registered in San Diego County.

“Information plays a key role in crime prevention and reducing risk,” said Fletcher. “We can’t stop every crime from happening, but we can definitely try.”

San Diego County will be implementing a modified e-mail service this spring that will alert residents to changes on the Megan’s Law website while awaiting amendments to state law that will allow a complete sharing of information.

“AB 1022 will allow us to better utilize the technology we already use on a daily basis to promote safer neighborhoods for residents of San Diego County,” said Horn.

This bill is a result of collaboration between the offices of Supervisor Horn, Assemblyman Fletcher, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.