Coming Soon: Upgrades To Sex Offender Registry Website


Enter a local zipcode in the Wisconsin sex offender registry website, and in some cases more than 100 registered offenders pop up.

"But for instance one zipcode here in Janesville has 153 offenders in it."

That's according to David Moore, the Deputy Chief of Janesville police. He commends the accuracy and daily updates of the state's registry, but says he wishes it were easier to use.

"So the citizen would have to open up each file and find out the address and then make a determination whether they were in their neighborhood."

With more than 100 names, clicking on each one to verify an address is daunting.
Moore is pushing for the state to use a map-based system.

"Simply enter in your own address and it populates a geographic map, shows where the offenders live and then you just click on the icon and they would show you who the offender is and the type of offense they committed - much more user friendly."

Moore says he's heard from local politicians pushing for upgrades to the system since the triple murder of the Lentz family, from Janesville earlier this month.

A person of interest in the case is James Koepp, a registered sex offender, who lived in the same mobile home park as the Lentz's.

"I suspect Congressman Ryan's telephone call to our department was prompted by the recent triple homicide that occured in our county."

"Certainly, there's heightened awareness and we will sometimes see an increase in activity on the website," says John Dipko with the Department of Corrections.

He says upgrades to the registry website have been in the works for months - among them, a mapping function.

"Another feature that will be added will be an automatic e-mail notification so that if people would like to sign up to be notified when a sex offender is moving into a specified geographic area."

Dipko says they're always striving to make this vital information easier to find, to ease residents' minds.

"We believe an informed public is a safer public."

To find out more about registered offenders in your area, go to http://offender.doc.state.wi.us/public/


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