The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

October 12, 2012

State launches ‘Offender Watch’ notification program

DES MOINES — Crime victims who want to know when a registered sex offender moves locations, or anyone who wants information on sex offenders moving into or out of designated areas, can now register for real-time notifications through a new addition to the state’s sex offender registry website.

The new option, called “Offender Watch,” enables crime victims and others to receive a confidential automatic notification via phone or text message of a registered sex offender’s change in residence when the offender notifies the state of the change.  An email notification system has been available for several years. In fact, last fiscal year the sex offender web site sent more than 280,000 email notifications to users on the movements and changes in relevant information made by offenders.

The addition of the mobile notifications gives users the ability to stay with information as they move.  “As technology changes, we strive to change with it,” says Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Terry Cowman.

Offender Watch also notifies users when a convicted sex offender moves in or out of an area defined by the user.  Registered users can set up a "watch" using an address and a specified distance around that address. Users will receive text, voice, or email notices each time a registered sex offender moves into or out of that area, or moves to a new location within that area. Users may also create watches based on a city, county, zip code, or a specific registrant or group of registrants.

The Iowa Sex Offender Registry was established in 1995.  Anyone convicted or adjudicated of a criminal offense against a minor, sexual exploitation, or a sexually violent crime or who was on probation, parole, or work release status, or who was incarcerated on or after July 1, 1995 is required to register. Those who received a deferred sentence or deferred judgment also must register, as must those with convictions from other jurisdictions, including convictions from other state courts or the federal courts.

Currently, more than 5,700 convicted sex offenders are registered on the Iowa Sex Offender Registry. In fiscal year 2012, offenders registered more than 3,400 address changes.

To sign up for Offender Watch or learn more about the Iowa Sex Offender registry go to www.IowaSexOffender.com.

1
Text Only
Southeast Iowa
  • New boilers cost district $380,000 The summer boiler replacement projects will be getting underway after the Centerville School Board approved a $380,801 bid from Capital City Boiler and Machine Works out of Des Moines during their April 14 meeting. Six bids were received and the boar

    April 18, 2014

  • Troy Rider.jpg Judge grants motion on witness comments

    Judge John Lloyd has granted a motion, filed by Troy Neil Rider's defense, to limit extrajudicial comment by witnesses regarding the sexual abuse case against Rider. 

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DOT photo Public learns latest about Northwest Bypass at DOT meeting

    OSKALOOSA -- Many area residents learned the latest about the U.S. 63 Northwest Bypass of Oskaloosa at a public information meeting held Wednesday evening at Oskaloosa Middle School. The two-hour meeting featured tables with maps of the three propose

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 18, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Five Things logo -T -L -M Five things to do in southeast Iowa this weekend OTTUMWA — It's a weekend of Easter celebrations, historic events and educational opportunities in southeast Iowa. Many people are gathered together this weekend, and the surrounding communities have scheduled events perfect for the whole family. 1. S

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Saving Center color photo -T -L -M Hedrick building has friends HEDRICK — The community wants a civic center, and they've been willing to work for it. "I'd say we have 15 to 25 volunteers each time," Tommy Smith of Hedrick said. "These are all good people." Smith was volunteering his services at the Easter Brunch

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Southern Iowa farmers preparing for planting OTTUMWA — Even though the winter seemed to linger like Iowa was going through an ice age and cold and wet weather has highlighted the early spring, farmers are starting to get out to their fields to put down fertilizer and get fields ready for planti

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Van Buren supervisors deny hog confinement permit application KEOSAUQUA — A proposed swine building in Chequest Township didn’t receive a seal of approval from Van Buren County Board of Supervisors. Supervisors voted Monday to recommend to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to deny the permit. Supervisor

    April 16, 2014

  • raceway concept drawing.jpg Raceway Rebate passes the House

    Rep. Greg Heartsill reports that the bill to provide up to $2 million in sales tax rebates to the Knoxville Raceway has passed out of the Iowa House of Representatives, 78-15. 

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National