Big Changes to Sex Offender Registry

By: Mike McCarthy
By: Mike McCarthy

Knoxville (WVLT) - You'll soon get a new tool to protect you and your family from sexual offenders. This weekend the, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will release an online mapping program.

Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy's been researching how the new device works.

TBI says the information is new. It's an easier way to see just how close you might live to a sex offender, but the number of names you can find could up after this weekend.

A few quick punches on the keyboard and Cory Bond won't ever look at his Knoxville neighborhood's the same again.

"There is one a few doors down. It would appear for the possession of child pornography," Brown said.

That "one's" a registered sex offender. One of nearly 10,000 registered in Tennessee. Just...

"Three doors down and I had no idea of that," Brown said.

Found by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's new online mapping program.

"I was shocked, really shocked. I'm still in shock to know that," Kristin Bond said.

On the current TBI site, you type in your city or zip code and you just get a list of registered offenders' addresses close to you.

"A lot of times we may see a street listed on there, but may not know exactly where that is," TBI spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson said.

So starting July first the new mapping program.

"Actually shows you a map," Johnson said.

A street--by--street layout...with the offenders in bright yellow. So TBI says you'll know exactly if and when a sexual predator pops up in your neighborhood and how close they are to your street."

"It beats getting the information, getting a map out, and trying to to compare it to yourself," Johnson said.

And the new map will also show you offenders you could never see before. The names of offenders convicted before July 1, 1997 have been blocked from your mouse. Until now.

"What the new law does is remove that barrier so in essence every single sex offender who's registered will appear on the website," Johnson said.

Now sex offenders also must register with T.B.I even if they've committed sex crimes in other states.

"What would happen is people would move here simply so they can hide out. This law removes their ability to do that," Johnson said.

Because of the new mapping program this father of three knows...

"There's a registered offender on my street. It's the only one in the neighborhood," Bond said.

But he's says one's enough. We talked with several convicted sex offenders here in Knoxville on the phone. Only one would comment about the new mapping. He says it's a good thing. He paid the price for his crime, and anything that holds him more accountable, makes him less likely to do it again.

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  • by Betty Location: Powell on Jul 14, 2007 at 10:48 AM
    Our world has gone so far on political correctness that it makes me sick.The child offenders should be neutered like aniamals--they will tell you thier selves that they can't be helped.So why do they need thier sexual urges?They should not have any rights at all--they gave those up when they hurt our innocent children!!!!!
  • by MOLINA Location: usa on Jul 10, 2007 at 08:29 AM
    What about putting other public disclosures to protect our children like the neighbor who drives drunk on the way home...or the neighbor who takes medication for his anger...or the neighbor who has weapons at his residence where our children go play or have a sleep over with their children ? We need to know to protect our neighborhood children. What was our neighbor arrested for and on what weapons protect our children. Was our neighbor hitting his wife alot before they moved in from a previous home on charges ? We need to know to protect our children . Does the neighbor have a drug problem ? Putting our children at risk. We need to know. Public disclosure to protect our children.
  • by pamela Location: greenback on Jul 3, 2007 at 07:01 PM
    I am gald to know we can now keep a eye out in our back yard people are moving in here everyday . And you just don,t know anymore, weather to let your kids out or not so yes it will help to know just where the bad guys are
  • by justanumber Location: USA on Jul 3, 2007 at 07:29 AM
    It's sad that the TBI spokesman can't even get it right. Not all offenders on this list are "sexual predators" as she indicated and most are not child sex offenders as everyone has been led to believe. Now to the new laws inacted, this is a clear disregard of the TN State Constitution. Registration for the folks for offences prior to 1995 was never part of their sentence or requirements - now it is?!? Look up what Ex Post facto means for everyones rights. Everyone should move on and be allowed to move on with productive lives.
  • by kay Location: morristown on Jul 3, 2007 at 12:04 AM
    there are 24 within a 5 mile radius of our home, with one on the street behind us and one just a few houses down from my child's school. My child is not allowed outside without constant supervision!! It puts my mind at ease as well as scares me. In response to offenders being held accountable, that's fine, but have they ever heard of self-control??
  • by Steven Location: Knoxville on Jul 2, 2007 at 03:43 AM
    This tears it. Please create a sex offender colony and get all these child molesters out of our neighborhoods...NOW!!
  • by Doris Location: Knoxville on Jul 1, 2007 at 11:30 PM
    "Its about time," that our childrens safety is put before before a sex offenders privacy, " Its about time," the victims rights are put before the criminals rights, Thank God.
  • by christopher Location: Maynardville,TN on Jun 30, 2007 at 07:59 PM
    I have 4 kids and I am wanting to see if there is any sex offenders are in my area.


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