NOLANVILLE — Police Chief Gary Kent announced that his department has implemented the OffenderWatch program to manage registered sex offenders in the community.
OffenderWatch allows Texas law enforcement agencies to collaborate and share information with sheriff’s offices, police departments and other law enforcement agencies across the state, according to a news release from the Bell County Sheriff’s Office.
The police department also put an easy-to-use sex offender registry on its website, which residents can use to see if any registered sex offenders live near their homes or workplaces.
“It’s another tool for us to use to combat predators,” Kent said. “We invite our citizens or anyone to go to our website and check it out.”
The program goes along with Kent’s vow as police chief to make sure all children in his community grow up predator free.
“I found out that they had (OffenderWatch) out there and I talked to the sheriff,” Kent said. “It’s just another tool for us to use.”
With OffenderWatch, the Nolanville Police Department is immediately notified via an inter-agency pre-registration alerting system when a sex offender who lives in Nolanville registers with the sheriff’s office. Nolanville detectives will then contact and interview the offender, verify their address, collect additional data, arrange the community notification and verify the address does not violate a safety buffer like a school or day care center, according to the sheriff’s office.
All data collected about the offender is housed in an electronic, Internet-accessible form, so any law enforcement officer who needs the information can access the record.
Mayor-elect Christina Rosenthal, who made her own campaign vow to help Nolanville change the poor reputation it garnered in the past year with the arrests of former mayor Charlie L. Stewart and former councilman Miguel A. Aviles on unrelated aggravated sexual assault charges, said she did not know enough about OffenderWatch to comment on the program.
“I am aware of the program and what it consists of but would prefer to get good information from our police chief before making any comments,” she said.
For more information about the OffenderWatch program, call the police department at (254) 698-6346 or go to ci.nolanville.tx.us/departments/police-department.
Contact Kristi Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7548