TUCSON (KVOA) – Pima County has over 800 registered sex offenders.
The law requires the Pima County’s Sheriff’s Department to conduct compliance audits. But with just a handful of detectives, it has been overwhelming so far.
The new method of screening sex offenders began in October. According to information from detectives and sheriff officials, this has already been successful.
Now the patrol MPs go out daily to do compliance checks.
Apprenticeship Officer Jacqueline Deen and Assistant Amy Martinez work on patrol in the San Xavier district.
On this day, they conduct compliance checks on registered sex offenders.
They go to the address where a level two offender lives.
MEPs found out where he lived and asked him questions ranging from receiving mail at that address to where he worked and what vehicle he was driving.
He answered all of the questions and even gave them his driver’s license and vehicle registration.
Once all the questions have been asked and a form has been completed, an additional form must be completed.
It’s one that the U.S. marshals have asked for their help with. It’s called the IMF, or International Megan’s Law Form – a federal law. It is named after a little 7-year-old New Jersey girl who was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by a neighborhood sex offender.
Deen said the form informs law enforcement about where these sex offenders are. If you leave the country, you must inform the authorities 21 days before your departure.
If the sex offender is not where his or her registration form says he or she should be, the case will be referred to the SORT unit or the sex offender prosecution unit.
Det. Santiago Hernandez is assigned to this unit and will look for the sex offender. As soon as he finds them, they will be arrested.
He told the Digging Deeper team more than ever that it was important to know where they are.
“Security for the community,” he said. “You have kids out there, especially with Covid, you have kids out of school. A lot of them play on the street at home.”
He added that many of the sex offenders are not working because people are not hiring them, so it is necessary to keep an eye on them.
He also said that patrol officers who do the compliance checks know where sex offenders live and that doing so makes the community safer.
Hernandez said since the new system was put into play, they have already conducted 400 compliance audits and arrested 20 people to keep the community safe.
For more information, please visit azdps.gov or call 602-255-0611.