Skip to comments.1,000 sex offenders vanish in Arizona
Posted on 07/06/2005 11:52:50 PM PDT by DaveTesla
PHOENIX - Nearly 1,000 registered sex offenders in Arizona have
disappeared from the radar, causing the Department of Public Safety to add
officers to track them down.
DPS Director Roger Vanderpool said he will move four more officers into the
squad of six whose sole job it is to keep track of the more than 14,000
registered sex offenders in the state.
He's also directing his SWAT and fugitive squads to spend at least one day a
week doing nothing but tracking down these absconders.
And his officers are working with county attorneys to get warrants for each of
he missing fugitives. That not only ensures their names are in a national
database but requires police officers who stop them for some other reason to
make an arrest - something that doesn't always happen now.
Vanderpool said he is particularly concerned with trying to track down the
approximately 130 on the list of the missing who are "Level 3 offenders" -
those considered the most dangerous and the most likely to reoffend. But he
said he'd like them all found.
"We'll find them and bring them back to justice," he said. "And we'll put them
in a place where we can find them," he said, noting it is a felony for someone
who is required to register to fail to do so, or to move without notifying
But that goal may not be realistic: About three quarters of those on the list
have been missing since at least 1996.
"We may not find them," said Val Biebrich, the DPS community notification
coordinator. But he said the changes will put "a mechanism in place" to make
it easier to find them.
Laws in Arizona and most other states require people who have been convicted
of certain sexual offenses to register with local police.
Gov. Janet Napolitano said those laws now add about 1,000 people a year to
Vanderpool said those kinds of numbers have made it impossible for the six
full-time staffers to keep track of everyone.
"You do the math," he said. "It's pretty phenomenal across a state this size."
And Vanderpool, who became DPS director three months ago, said the unit
has never really been staffed enough to keep up with the workload.
The report that nearly 1,000 are missing was news to Sen. Barbara Leff, R-
Paradise Valley. She was involved in writing legislation limiting where sex
offenders can live. She said she was surprised state officials had no
answer at a press conference Tuesday to the question of how the list got so
Where these offenders are - or at least should be - is hard to determine.
The DPS' Web site lists 278 absconders who have been required to register
since 1996, when the law was tightened. Of those, 118 were convicted in
Maricopa County, and another 35 in Pima County.
Pinal County logged 13, with 10 from Mohave County and smaller numbers
from other counties.
The figures also include 57 people from other states who didn't keep up their
addresses when they moved to Arizona.
Vanderpool said the DPS isn't getting more money. Instead, he is identifying
sworn police officers in his agency "performing jobs we feel can be fulfilled
by civilian personnel or utilizing retirees or volunteers."
Biebrich said the additional staff members will do more than search databases.
He said they will be working with prosecutors in each county to get
indictments against each of the missing offenders.
That, by itself, isn't the total answer. "Some people are very good at staying
under the radar," Biebrich said.
The state maintains a Web site with the names and pictures of 278 of the
missing. Biebrich said the balance are those who failed to register or report
whose offenses date from before mid-1996, when state law was changed to
specifically require communities to be notified when a sex offender moves into
I wonder where they're buried.
State of Arizona
Sex Offender InfoCenter
As idiotic as it was asking Saddam to comply with UN mandates, is asking sex offenders to register themselves.
Along that same thought, we "lose" 1000 offenders in one of our own states, yet we were supposed to find Saddam's WMD in a foreign country??
And that's just the registered offenders.
There shouldn't be anybody on this list that's under the age of 70 and castrated, They should still be in the slammer.
A simple credit check or DMV check will bring in many. Some sex offenders may have simply forgotten. Also, will LE hold the offenders accountable and give them the full penalty for not complying? Sometimes not.
Can't do that, especially if they are illegal. That's the feds job don't you know.
They have constitutional rights you know. Just ask the ACLU.
What.. anger the liberals?
The left protect their own.
Soulda, coulda....been deported, but naw.
Guess they deported them all to France...
Child molesters and the people who harbor them protect their own. Liberals think they can change. Republicans try to keep them in jail. Unfortunately....the sickness of hurting children runs the gamete on both sides at times. It's our responsibility to make sure they don't walk the streets without being watched. :)
If true, this makes me question what constitutes a "sex offense" that can get you a scarlet letter.
It's too bad they don't disappear from the face of the earth.
The laws in most States require offenders to re-apply (make notification) to local law enforcement agencies once a year. Most LE agencies attempt to verify that information twice a year to determine compliance. When an offender is found to be not at the address he previously gave, a warrant is issued for failure to change address. However, once a warrant is issued, the offender is gone, and locating him is very, very difficult. They do not announce their presence, nor attract attention to themselves.
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