Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Still watching

Back in October, I posted the story of a fast information flow involving a registered sex offender. Monday, virtually the same thing happened: a CrimeView threshold alert notified me at 0500 hours that we had updated an address on a registered sex offender over night, placing him within 500 feet of an elementary school and thus in violation of Lincoln's residency restriction. This address was right across the street from an elementary school. I measured the distance at 77 feet, give or take a couple of inches.

Officer Court Cleland had investigated a missing person report concerning our subject on Sunday. His girlfriend contacted us, concerned that she had not seen him for . It was that report that caused his address to be updated in our primary database, and that update in turn caused the threshold alert to fire up in the wee hours. I forwarded my information to Officer Cleland before he got to work at 0700 hours Monday morning. He initiated the needed investigation on the ground to document the elements of the violation. Later Monday night, Officer Scott Parker found our subject and lodged him in jail for both violating the City's residency restriction and for failing to register an address change with the county sheriff, as required by State law. The subject was initially contacted at the University of Nebraska Student Union by the UNL Police, who notified us. He has been frequenting campus lately.

The use of this automated query has really simplified a task that would be pretty daunting without the technology. I'm not quite sure how we would be able to catch these violations if we had to rely on a manual process, because as of this moment we have 468 registered sex offenders living in Lincoln, and they are a highly-mobile group.


Anonymous said...

Thank-you thank-you thank-you. To quote *A Few Good Men*, we "need you on that wall." As the parent of a first grader, knowing your threshold alerts exists makes me feel incrementally better. I know it doesn't mean the world is safe for my kids, but I am comforted that you're continually looking for ways to let the computers do more of the clerical work so that officers can be out and about.

Anonymous said...

Nice job UNLPD! They are a great bunch of guys/gals who are not given alot of credit.

Anonymous said...

RSO is only a politcal correct venture. The far greater danger is the unreported and unknown perps. It is amazing that you very educated people have lulled yoour selfs into a false sense of security.

Tom Casady said...

Anon 9:54--

Don't think for an instant that I'm lulled into any such sense of security. The offenders who worry me the most personally are only occassionally RSOs--it's the unclassified, those that aren't even subject to registration at all, or those who are unknown to us in the first place.

It's our job to enforce the laws the legislature and city council have passed concerning RSOs, and this application of information technology simply makes that process more efficient and effective.

Anonymous said...

I've never suspected for a moment that LE professionals considered SO registries to be a silver bullet. Lots of legislation is introduced by legislators that have a finger in the wind, and want to be re-elected, but it's always been like that. LE is then tasked with enforcing those new laws, but prosecutors, judges, and parole boards often get very lenient with those arrested for violating these new laws. It doesn't take much to give an overly-ambitious legislator an idea for a popular new law.

I've always wanted to see a similar registry for convicted burglars, robbers, and auto thieves. Wouldn't you like to know if any are living in your part of town? Near your home, your person, your car? I sure would.

Anonymous said...

Why not add parking violations to the list. It seems you (January 16, 2008 11:35 AM) would like big bro to be the tracker of all. Put the flatulence detected on elevator locations on the list too. I bet a ton that you are a liberal and democrat too. Perhaps we should be talking about the 8ooo, yes eight thousand illegals that cross the boarder each DAY to the USA. Or how about the 116, yes onehundredsixteen people killed in car crashes each DAY. The priorities or upside down in this great country bbrk

Anonymous said...

A Liberal and a Democrat? You'd lose that bet, on both counts, but anyone that knows me would get a belly-laugh out of the mere supposition.

In any case, convicted robbers, burglars, and auto thieves have a very high rate of recidivism. This is of great concern to anyone that has property, a home, and/or a vehicle. A parent of small children (after consulting the SO registry when evaluating a neighborhood for a possible move) wouldn't be inclined to move in next door to or just down the block from a convicted child molester. Neither would anyone be inclined to move themselves and their car in close to a previously convicted burglar, auto thief, or robber.

That's why I'd like to see a registry for those, except that it would cost a ton of money to implement and maintain. However, not being a parent, it would be of far more use to me personally than the SO registry.

It'd probably be more workable to build more cell space so we wouldn't have to kick them loose early in order to make a hole for new inmates, and could keep them incarcerated for their maximum term, especially considering their inclination to re-offend once released.

Anonymous said...

I would support registering ALL convicted felons. It's simple, upon conviction, they agree to have their addresses published. Some commercial database venture will track them. I don't believe there should be a requirement for police to enforce this in any way, but the mere fact a convicted felon'a name appears in some publicly accessed database provides some sort of comfort. When you move to a new house, wouldn't you like to know "Joe", the guy you're going to ask to watch your house while you're on vacation, is a burglar?

Anonymous said...

Not to belabor the point about robbers and other major felons frequently re-offending, but this suspect, if you run his name at the County Attorney's site, is currently awaiting sentencing for another robbery! Now that's a great way to engender leniency from the sentencing judge.

Maybe they'll plea deal this one down too - so he can be out and making extra work for law enforcement sooner.

Anonymous said...

Belaboring the recidivism point again, it seems that the second robbery suspect also has another robbery charge currently crawling slowly through the system, just like his compadre. It's typical of the lame local fishwrap to not mention those prior exploits.

Good bust, both suspects in custody, job well done, LPD. Just wait, they'll both be busted for other felonies again before this one ever comes to trial.