Is That Right? Always notified about sex offenders nearby?
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - More than 1,000 sex offenders live in Hamilton County and all of them are forced to report where they live, but does that mean you'll be notified if a sex offender moves into your neighborhood?
Scrolling down a list of sex offenders reveals a lot.
"We have about 1,550 in Hamilton County," Hamilton County Deputy Adam Breeze said.
And every one those sex offenders must register at a small office at the courthouse. It's a lot for deputies to keep track of, but Breeze and a three-person unit do it well, getting photos and addresses and tracking the offenders down to make sure they're telling the truth.
"We knock on the door and we make sure they're living where they're living," said Breeze.
So, naturally, many think if a sex offender moves into their neighborhood, they're going to get notification. But is that really what happens?
Across the country, convicted sex offenders are placed in one of three classifications -- or tiers. Tier 1 is the lowest level, for people convicted of things like possessing child porn. Tier 2 is for repeat offenders and sexual contact crimes that involve a year or more in prison. Tier 3 is the worst classification, for criminals convicted of rape, sexual assault and abuse and any sexual act with a child 12 years old or younger.
In Hamilton County, Breeze and his unit send postcards to homeowners, notifying them that a sex offender is living nearby.
"We send all the mailings on the predators and the Tier 3s that move in," said Breeze.
But by law, unless a judge orders it, no postcards are sent warning of the Tier 1 and 2 offenders -- the vast majority of sex offenders -- who may be living near you.
So, it's up to you to search your state and county websites to find out if sex offenders are nearby because relying on notification for all sex offenders is WRONG.