Governmental responses to health crisis for registrants: some good; some bad

There have been no updates since 4/8 because there have been on news items or information sent to me on the topic since then. What does this mean? I am not sure.

4/8 UPDATE

NV: Appears to be for the entire state. “ ‘Any registrant needing to update or change their information can visit the Offender Watch database at www.offenderwatchexpress.com. Changes will be stored in the database until the sex offender can visit the Records and Fingerprint Bureau and fill out the necessary paperwork.’ Offenders are advised to keep a screenshot, print out or email of the changed information to show law enforcement if necessary.” https://www.8newsnow.com/news/local-news/nevada-sex-offenders-must-report-online-to-remain-compliant/

Las Vegas, NV: Whereas this suggests it is “SOME.”  “Due to the closure of some Metropolitan Police Department facilities during the coronavirus pandemic, registered sex offenders needing to update or change their information must do so online.” https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/sex-crimes/coronavirus-shifts-las-vegas-sex-offenders-to-online-updates-2001508/

4/6 UPDATE

NM: Sheriff’s offices given permission by the governor’s office to conduct registrations and registration updates telephonically. This is verified, but I have no link.

St. Francois Co. MO: “Sex offenders are going to be made to call in.” https://dailyjournalonline.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/sheriffs-respond-to-stay-at-home-order/article_ee65b6de-3644-5e6b-b6e8-54a7aef91df2.html

MI: This in from an advocate in MI: “. . .officials are preliminarily enjoined from enforcing registration, verification, school zone violations, and fee violations in connected with Michigan’s sex offender registry law from February 14, 2020 until the COVID-19 crisis has ended.” This appears to make MI the 4th state to go state wide. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/04/06/judge-state-sex-offender-registry-cant-enforced-pandemic/2958141001/

4/5 UPDATE

Littleton, CO: “Attention! No in-person sex offender registrations are being completed during the COVID-19 restrictions. Phone registrations are being completed at this time.” https://www.littletongov.org/city-services/city-departments/police-department/regulations-enforcement/sex-offender-registration-procedure

Denver, CO: “Attention! No in person Sex Offender Registrations are being completed during the Covid 19 restrictions. Phone registrations are being completed at this time.” https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/police-department/crime-information/sex-offenders.html

4/3/20 UPDATE

Saline Co. MO: “Sex offenders required to report in the month of April should contact Cathy at (660) 886-5511 Monday through Friday for further instructions prior to their scheduled registration date.” https://www.kmmo.com/2020/04/02/saline-county-sheriffs-office-continues-closure/

OK: “Our office maintains business as usual as Sex and Violent Offender Registration is determined as essential in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.” Cheri Bolz, Coordinator Sex and Violent Offender Registration, Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Cheri.Bolz@doc.ok.gov

4/1/2020 UPDATE

Virgin Islands: “The Sex Offender Registry also is closed to the public; however, registration requirements remain in place. Sex offenders who are residing, employed or attending school in the territory and need to register or update their information must do so telephonically or via email.” https://stjohnsource.com/2020/03/31/government-agencies-update-changes-to-normal-operations-in-response-to-covid-19/

The report from 3/31 about Johnson Co. KS has now been independently verified.

3/31 UPDATE

VA: Virginia appears to have joined Oregon and Pennsylvania with the stoppage of in-person reporting statewide, at least for most situations. http://vspimages.vsp.virginia.gov/pages/sorpublic/C-19MEMO.pdf

Several reports have come in from individuals for which we have no independent verification; these are, as of today:

Johnson Co. KS: In-person suspended for April and May; call 913-715-5476 instead.

Montgomery Co. OH: In-person still required.

Geary CO. KS: Update by phone until further notice.

3/30/20 UPDATE

PA: “Due to the COVID-19 Emergency in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in-person reporting is being temporarily suspended.” https://www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us/TermsandCondition/TermsAccepted

NC: 3 of 100 counties have suspended in-person visits. See all counties here: https://ncrsol.org/2020/03/29/nc-sex-offender-in-person-statewide-requirements/

Bullhead City, AZ: “Bullhead City Police Department has temporarily closed its lobby for in-person contact. . . Sex offenders may call 928-763-9200 to comply with registration requirements.” http://www.mohavedailynews.com/covid-19/police-department-closes-lobby-for-in-person-contact/article_feada0f2-7248-11ea-ad3d-6bbfe00d2712.html

3/29 UPDATE

Douglas Co. NE: “Sex Offender registry is still taking place as scheduled.” https://www.douglascounty-ne.gov/coronavirus-covid-19-information

ND: “The Fargo Police Department is allowing sex offenders to register by phone in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus, while other local law enforcement agencies continue the registration process with few changes.” This article quotes from NARSOL’s press release demanding the stoppage of in-person verifications. https://www.inforum.com/news/crime-and-courts/5010664-Yet-another-way-COVID-19-has-changed-life-Fargo-sex-offenders-can-now-register-remotely

Nodaway Co. MO: “. . . fingerprinting services will be suspended until April 20, when the situation will be re-evaluated. Sex offender checks will be done by phone until that date as well.” https://www.maryvilleforum.com/news/coronavirus/police-sheriff-to-respond-by-phone-when-possible/article_c7b43410-6f66-11ea-a153-8f0dcb02dd2a.html

3/28 UPDATE

Dallas Co. IO: “Everything that we do here at the Sheriff’s Office can be done online (like) weapons permits (and) there’s different rules for sex offenders checking in.” They don’t say what they are, just ‘different.’ https://www.raccoonvalleyradio.com/2020/03/27/dallas-county-sheriff-discusses-covid-19-procedures/

Barry Co. MO: “Sex offenders needing to register by the end of March will need to call the office at 417-847-6556 and register by phone. If registration is due in April, contact the office after April 6 and staff will advise whether to register in person or by phone.” https://www.cassville-democrat.com/story/2678107.html

3/27 UPDATE

New York: The state with the highest virus outbreak, but for registrants, it’s business as usual. “Courts will continue to process criminal arraignments, bail hearings, housing court issues involving challenges to housing code violations or landlord lockouts, as well as matters pertaining to sex offenders and emergency family court.” https://medtruth.com/articles/news/ny-coronavirus-restrictions-legal-work/

3/26 UPDATE

Murietta, CA (and other CA locations): Registrants are still being required to do in-person verifications; ACSOL has filed suit asking for internet or telephone instead. Larry and Janice are doing a special conference call Sunday afternoon about this (https://narsol.org/2020/03/narsol-in-action-coronavirus-new-alert/).

https://www.pe.com/2020/03/25/coronavirus-murrieta-sex-offenders-sue-city-in-order-to-register-via-internet-phone/

3/25 UPDATE

Jackson Co. FL: “Sexual Offenders, Sexual Predators and Felony Criminal Registrations will still be postponed until April 6th, at which time the registrants need to call into the Sheriff’s Office to check in for the registration schedule.” https://www.wjhg.com/content/news/Jackson-County-Sheriff-Office-changes-operations-due-to-COVID-19-568958691.html

Virgin Islands: “Sex offenders who are residing, employed or attending school in the territory and need to register or update their information must do so telephonically or via email. Offenders must understand that failure to comply with these obligations will subject them to prosecution for failure to register.” https://stjohnsource.com/2020/03/24/department-of-justice-reminds-sex-offenders-of-registry-obligations-in-light-of-covid-19/

Uvalde Co. TX: “Sex offenders needing to register or check in are to contact secretary Angelica Camacho by phone at 830-278-9147 to set up a date and time as required by law. UPD asks that they do not arrive at the department without an appointment.” http://uvaldeleadernews.com/news/uvalde-county-offices-close-to-public-staff-will-still-report-to-work/

Washington Co. OH: “Arson and sex offenders will register by phone.” https://www.mariettatimes.com/news/local-news/2020/03/commissioners-share-plan-for-each-county-department/

Hamilton Co. OH: “An order . . . will restrict public access to the courthouse to those who have specific business, such as those seeking civil protection orders and temporary restraining orders, and sex offenders who are required [to]report. https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2020/03/23/new-restrictions-public-access-hamilton-county-courthouse/2903059001/

Natrona Co. WY: “Sex Offenders please call to make any updates or changes.” https://oilcity.news/community/health/covid-19/2020/03/24/natrona-county-sheriffs-business-office-closes-to-public/

 

 

3/24 UPDATE

Dubuque Co. IO revision: “Sex offenders completing monthly check-ins will be conducted over the phone.” https://www.telegraphherald.com/coronavirus/article_1730797e-da50-57e8-a070-6415124d6b36.html

Dallas, TX: “Offenders who are already registered who come to the police department will be asked to confirm their information, but then instructed to call and make an appointment to come back at a later date.” https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/dallas-police-to-change-sex-offender-check-ins-amid-pandemic/2333757/

Los Angeles, CA: According to ACSOL, the city “has stopped all in-person registration of individuals required to register as a sex offender in that city.” https://all4consolaws.org/2020/03/lapd-stops-in-person-registration-provides-registration-by-telephone/

3/23/20 UPDATE

Berrien Co. MI: “The records lobbies in St. Joseph and Niles will be closed to the public through April 6. Obtaining a pistol purchase permit, sex offender registrant updates and fingerprinting will be postponed until the records lobby reopens.” https://www.fox17online.com/news/national-news/coronavirus/live-coronavirus-updates-west-michigans-response-to-the-pandemic

Virginia Beach, VA: “The department will still process more serious services like in-person sex offender registrations, felony registrations and court-mandated traveling felon registrations.” https://www.13newsnow.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/va-beach-police-change-in-person-services-because-of-coronavirus/291-68db5e6b-3d11-4555-9ee0-f09c2e6b5a35

Jackson, MS: “All driver license stations are officially closed to the public except for the 9 MHP District Troop Stations across the state until March 31, 2020. [This is dated the 13th.] Reassessment will be made for reopening. The 9 MHP District Troop Stations will only provide the following services: Sex offender registry transactions (and two licensing services).” https://www.wmcactionnews5.com/2020/03/15/driver-license-stations-closing-around-state-response-coronavirus/

I also have word that TN has suspended in-person reporting. I am awaiting official verification.

By Sandy 3/22/20 . . . Since we sent our press release, I have been sent links to information about various jurisdictions and their actions regarding in-person check-in verifications. I am pleased that some are taking the actions called for in our press release, some starting a week ago. Others, sadly, are not.

I have compiled a list of what I could find starting with the earliest I could find, March 17. I will made every attempt to update this with any new information daily. For the most part, items through the 22nd are posted under the date of the media piece, but going forward, I will post them under the date I hear of them.

3/17/20

Lake Co. OH: “For the health and safety of all we are limiting the influx of people into the Office, as are sheriffs in adjoining counties,” Leonbruno said. “However, we are continuing to maintain the registrations and tracking of sex offenders, arsonists, and violent offenders.” https://www.news-herald.com/news/ccw-registrations-jail-visits-sheriff-s-sales-suspended-lake-county/article_3679a376-684b-11ea-908d-cf24da0ef3b3.html

3/18/20

Yakima Co. WA: “The office is only fingerprinting registered sex offenders at this time . . .” https://www.yakimaherald.com/special_projects/coronavirus/law-enforcement-courts-modify-services-to-fight-spread-of-covid/article_e61f8365-ca09-51bd-bcbc-00114f1e8a01.html

Erie Co. OH: Many services are curtailed or limited, but “Sex offenders are required to report for registration purposes as required by law, and will continue to be expected to do so.” https://www.discoververmilion.org/vermilion-ohio-news/sheriff-s-office-issues-statement

Reno, NV: No clear directive, but “Encourage sex offenders to contact their agency of local jurisdiction or the Sheriff’s Office before coming to the Sheriff’s Office.” https://thisisreno.com/2020/03/city-mandating-non-essential-business-close/

3/19/20

Yuba, AL: “Sex offender registrants are being asked not to come to the sheriff’s office but to instead call the records department at 822-4393 for instructions.” https://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/urgent/law-enforcement-agencies-modify-access/article_5c005be4-6a6c-11ea-9983-ff68a4e8cd31.html

3/20/20

Huron Co. OH: Sheriff’s lobby doors locked, but “Sex offenders, arsonists and violent offenders who have a duty to register will still be required to report.” https://norwalkreflector.com/news/177609/closingsadjustments/

Gladstone, MI: Registrants must call to arrange for verification; “Failure to verify will result in non-compliance.” https://www.dailypress.net/news/local-news/2020/03/cancellations-7/

Orangeburg Co. SC: “All sex-offender registrations will be conducted by investigators at the offender’s home.” https://thetandd.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/law-enforcement-jail-step-up-protection-due-to-covid/article_dbb77eb8-c008-5588-87aa-451deef2b2c3.html

Joshua, TX: “Sex offender registration for both check-in and newly released offenders will require an appointment. The assigned investigator will evaluate the need for an in-person visit.” https://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/covid-19/joshua-pd-changes-operations-due-to-covid/article_c7d36aba-6ac0-11ea-97e9-bbbc0747057a.html

3/21/20

Dubuque Co. IO: In-person verification still required: “The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department has urged residents — aside from sex offenders completing monthly check-ins — to avoid coming to the lobby of the Dubuque Law Enforcement Center.” https://www.telegraphherald.com/coronavirus/article_1bac357d-57bb-55ce-858e-96ce276bdac7.html

3/22/20

Snohomish Co. WA: Homeless registrants in WA are normally required to report weekly: “. . .  suspended weekly check-ins for homeless registered sex offenders until April 6.” https://www.heraldnet.com/news/snohomish-county-homeless-sex-offender-check-ins-on-hold-until-early-april/

On Facebook for Snohomish Co. “RSO services and check-ins will be delayed until April 6, 2020. Change of addresses can still be conducted by Certified Mail.” https://www.facebook.com/SnoCoSheriff/

CN: “At State Police Headquarters in Middletown, the public will be allowed – in limited numbers at a time – for the following services: Fingerprinting for screened, long-term care providers, sex offenders who are required to register with the state and deadly weapon offenders who are required to register with the state.” https://www.thehour.com/news/coronavirus/article/Coronavirus-in-Connecticut-Live-updates-hour-by-15132401.php?src=nwkhpcp

OR: All in-person verifications suspended; “. . . as of March 23rd, 2020, ALL sex offender reporting for registration will be taken by phone. There will be NO in-person registrations until further notice . . .” https://www.oregon.gov/osp/Docs/SOR_Web_Announcement.pdf

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Sandy is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

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