MOUNT VERNON — Sex offenders around Knox County were visited by law enforcement today in order to confirm they are living where they are registered.
According to Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher, the countywide compliance effort, Operation Safe Neighborhood Knox County, is to help determine where the offenders live and to locate those with active arrest warrants.
“It is important that sex offenders know the information they provide to the sheriff’s office is verified,” Thatcher told the News.
The process started this morning in a collaborative effort between the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, the Mount Vernon Police Department, the U.S. Marshal’s Office, Knox County Common Pleas Court Adult Probation Services, Municipal Court Probation, and the state adult parole. Thatcher said officials from the U.S. Marshall’s Office are participating in the event at no cost to local law enforcement.
Those participating will divide into groups of four and determine if verification can be made to match those on the list with their addresses.
There are three levels of registration for sex offenders, according to Thatcher. They can be required to register with the local sheriff’s office for 15 or 25 years or for their lifetime.
In conducting routine checks, Thatcher said law enforcement officials will check to see if the offender is actually living in the residence. Questions that come into consideration include is their mail delivered there, is the residence vacant, do they keep clothes and food at the address.
Knox County residents who have information regarding the whereabouts of sex offenders should call the Knox County Sheriff’s Office at 397-3333.