BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Tracking sex offenders who live near you has gotten a lot easier. That's thanks in part to an upgrade to the state police website.
There are hundreds of sex offenders scattered throughout the state of Louisiana. They are required to register with their local sheriff's offices. Most law enforcement agencies provide a website where anyone can search a roster of documented offenders. State police sergeant J.B. Slaton said compiling that list online was once a lengthy process.
"When the sheriff's office would enter information they either had to contact the state to let them know that there was information added or send paperwork to the state police before it was ever added," Slaton said.
But that has changed. All of those websites are now in one place under the Louisiana state police website lsp.org. Investigative specialists, like Shannon Sims, get the information instantly at the state fusion center. You can, too. It's as simple as logging on the website searching by parish. You can also type in a postal address. The names appear in alphabetical order.
"The information is updated real-time so we can go in and check it each day and see if there's new information available," Sims said.
Parents concerned with who their child might be talking to can visit the website, type in any cell phone or email address and find out whether or not that person is a sex offender.
"A lot of times now a days, children have their own phones and they are able to go and hide things or think they can hide things from parents and it's good to know we can go and check that information out," Sims said.
Sergeant Slaton said it also helps analysts keep better tabs of the offenders' every move.
"This system allows us to not only communicate but to access each other's information to where we can catch those offenders that aren't registering properly," Slaton said.
He said it's another way to make sure their names appear on the registry too.
You can find the state sex offender registry by visiting www.lsp.org