The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department this week launched a new “Offender Watch” program, featuring an improved website that will provide the public, and investigators, with greater access to detailed information about sex offenders in their neighborhoods. In a statement from the County’s First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, he says, “When I proposed the creation of a sex offender tracking team two years ago, this is just the kind of result I envisioned. I would like to thank Sheriff Rod Hoops and the members of the Crimes Against Children Detail for their work in bringing this important new program to our County. I also want to encourage all County residents to log on to the Sheriff’s website, click on Offender Watch, and explore the new capabilities to help keep your families safe.” The Offender Watch software program is an interactive database that provides up-to-date information on registered sex offenders, which now number over 2,700 within the Sheriff’s Department’s jurisdiction. One of the most useful features for the public is the ability to sign up for email updates; for residents who sign up, the program will automatically send an email notification if a sex offender moves into their neighborhood. The database is searchable by address or name, and the website includes an extensive list of safety tips and fliers that can be reproduced for neighborhoods or schools. The website also has contact information for Sheriff’s staff who will be available to answer questions. All 14 cities that contract with the Sheriff’s Department for police services are automatically included in the program, and this includes the Big Bear Valley. Police departments in Colton and Redlands are also participating and San Bernardino, Upland, Ontario and Fontana Police Departments are expected to join soon.
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