Local News

Checks done on registered sex offenders in Durham

Posted March 11, 2010

— Attorney General Roy Cooper says knowing where sex offenders live is an important tool in keeping North Carolina families and communities safe. To help with the effort, a joint operation is under way to check on every registered sex offender in Durham County.

Joint operation checks address status of sex offenders Joint operation checks status of sex offenders

Kenneth Baker, one of two deputies in the county assigned to check up on sex offenders, knows firsthand how challenging the task can be.

“It takes up a good portion of every day that we work,” he said. "We don't get to be as proactive as we'd like to be.”

The addresses of even those who cooperate must be verified every six months. People designated as repeat offenders are checked every three months.

"I would say probably two-thirds of our registrations are being compliant for the most part,” Baker said.

Baker is getting extra help this week verifying addresses through “Operation Bull Pen," a joint operation of local and federal authorities.

"I think it helps the county by giving them an opportunity to get ahead of the game. It’s always a reactive situation because people are moving around. They are coming in and changing the registry on a daily basis,” U.S. Marshal Deputy John Bridge said.

During the three-day operation, authorities will be issuing warrants for any sex offenders who aren't living where they claim to be. Authorities will also be checking to make sure offenders aren't living within 1,000 feet of a school or day care.

“I hope and pray, one day when I’m retired, that there is still somebody doing this job, so that I know that if my kids are at school or at daycare, that I may know where the offenders are that live around me,” Baker said of the effort.

More than 566 registered sex offenders live in Wake County, about 290 in Durham County and 69 in Orange County.

Their data is stored in a public registry available to anyone with Internet access, or by calling 1-877-627-2826.


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  • FromClayton Mar 12, 2010

    i looked up my neighborhood and one lives in my neighborhood! OMG!!!! he served 6 years in prison for it! the baby and I will be staying away from him!

  • pattip574 Mar 12, 2010

    too bad they don't do this for drug dealers, murderers, drunk drivers and other threats to society and our children!

  • fatchanceimwrong Mar 11, 2010

    tran: I totally agree and it's a shame that the system doesn't distinguish them based on the type and severity of their crime. Personally, I feel that convicted child molesters should have "Child Molester" tattood on their forehead so that people can identify them and keep their children away from them. Yeah, there is a big difference between an adult that molests children and an 18 yr old who had sex with a 16 or 17 yr old, unless of course it a case of rape, in which case I'd also like to see them tattood with the word "Rapist" on their forehead.

  • wbearp Mar 11, 2010

    Funny. S.O.'s across the State (should be) doing this job anyways, but if the State or Feds want a little press they will name it Operation Blah Blah Blah, send out a press release, and tag along. I hope they at least buy lunch for the Deputy they are riding with!

  • DizzyDaphnee Mar 11, 2010

    Does anyone actually think the COST of 290 ankle monitors PLUS the actual MONITORING which is 24/7, doesn't have a large price tag? ALL THAT COSTS MONEY TOO. I don't think u can even compare a couple of live officers monitoring to mechanical jailers. For one, creative criminals have in the past and will probably continue in the future to find ways to get around the "bracelet" or they find a way to "fool" the monitoring. Many documented cases in US around the country for some years now. The officers on the other hand are thinking and reasoning counterparts to the criminal. If things are amiss, a human might see it sooner. An ankle bracelet cannot make any judgments, assertions or do any kind of subjective reasoning or processing of a given situation. I think if these officers KEEP UP the monitoring religiously, for now it is probably the best we can offer up to ourselves short of housing all sex offenders in one singular community.

  • tran Mar 11, 2010

    I'm with sadie1278. The registry doesn't tell you what they actually did, only the charge they were convicted of. Since they're all tossed in the same pot, that's kinda problematic. Some are more dangerous than others and yet somebody who got their 17 year old girlfriend pregnant when they were 18 gets lumped in with a creep who messes with little kids. How about a color code for sex offenders so we can tell which ones are truly dangerous.

  • Rolling Along Mar 11, 2010

    1 county down...99 more to go. FWIW there are quite a few listed in Harnett County with addresses in a trailer park that has been gone for several years.

  • G-man Mar 11, 2010

    Sounds to me like they have been failing miserably to comply with the supervision required by the law with only 2/3 in compliance.

  • tafiliclan1 Mar 11, 2010

    This should be addressed through out all our schools(HS). That is where our future leaders are at and future criminals too.
    Let the children know that crime does not pay. It will ruin their lives forever. Especially with a felony on their record.
    Let's be proactive. New laws will not change anything. Hit it where the root is at. When the child is young before it's too late. Let them know that HELP is always available through Law enforcement agencies, school faculties and their parents.
    Watch the behavior changed to a healthy one.

  • whatusay Mar 11, 2010

    Castration or jail should be their only two choices.