Sex Offenders In The Pine Belt - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Sex Offenders In The Pine Belt

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Sex Offenders In The Pine Belt Sex Offenders In The Pine Belt
The law requires anyone who is ever convicted of committing a sexual offense be registered as a sex offender. Most of the time residents are not even aware of the registered sex offenders in their neighborhoods. Do you know who your neighbor is?

According to the Mississippi Department of Public safety there are 148 registered sex offenders in Forrest County and 90 in Jones County.

Keeping track of the sex offender registry is a joint effort by several agencies, local law enforcement is just one of them.

 "The state has a registry, through the state of Mississippi the Department of transportation they keep up with it. They send us letters each week on different persons if that person moves into our county," said Sergeant Scott Gable, Jones County Deputy.

The list is heavily monitored and updated regularly, making it mandatory for each offender to register at the DMV every 90 days. Sergeant Scott Gable oversees registered sex offenders in jones county.

 "Some of these guys we have done it, not just one time, but they do it numerous times. They might go one state and do it, and then turn around and come to another state and do it," Gable said.

Convicted sexual offenders in the state of Mississippi remain listed on a registry for their entire lives, and it's Sergeant Gable's job to verify each offender's job and address.

"Once you register with the state and you put that address, you've got to live at that address," explained Gable.

The offenders can face charges if they are non-compliant, which includes coming to restricted areas.

 "They don't want the offenders to be this close to day cares or schools, so they've moved it from 1500 to 300 feet," said Gable.

Officials say the best defense against a sexual offense is to be aware.

"I have nieces and I have a nephew, it makes me feel like I have to be more protective of them because you never know who that sex offender will be," said James Holloway, Forrest County Resident.

If you see any inappropriate behavior, Sergeant Gable says reporting it immediately can potentially stop the crime.

"Let the local law enforcement agencies get involved and take care of the situation, cause that's what we do we investigate anything that they call in to us."

To check the Mississippi Sex Offender Registry, click here.
 
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