Tulsa Police changes location for sex offenders to register
Tuesday, March 14th 2006, 10:56 AM CST
A more secure location for sex offenders to register.
Tulsa has 523 registered sex offenders. Aggravated offenders must register every 90 days. The rest have to register whenever they move. The problem is, they used to register in the same area where rape victims waited to see detectives.
Starting Wednesday, that will change. It's still at the main police station at 600 Civic Center in downtown Tulsa, but as News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright explains, it's separated from victims and has better security.
There are 1,200 sex offenders across the state, who are considered delinquent. They're supposed to register their address at the local police station. Starting Wednesday in Tulsa, that will be on the first floor of the main police station, near the property room.
Tulsa detectives see about 140 offenders each month. The sex offender office used to be on the third floor, where the offenders had to walk past a receptionist, sometimes, right next to sexual assault victims who were also waiting to see a detective.
The new area is not only separate, it's also secure. The area was the old booking area for the jail, so video cameras can monitor people outside the office as well as after they come inside and sit at a desk. Tulsa Police Cpl Dan Fuller: "I we do have to go get a file, there's a camera still on the offender and we can see them outside and buzz them in and if they're in the waiting room, that is also monitored."
Sex offenders are required to come to the registration office for a number of reasons, once they get out of prison, if they receive a notice from the state, change addresses or need to see if they live within 2,000 feet of a school.
The bigger problem, frankly, is the people who don't show up. Tulsa Police Cpl Dan Fuller: "the state has 1,200 deliquents, people unaccounted for. If you do the math, we have 10 to 15 percent, which is 50 to 100 people."
50 to 100 sex offenders in Tulsa on the loose, living who knows where, doing, who knows what. Tulsa Police say making the registration office separate from where citizens, victims and their families go is also important. Not, only do the officers register sex offenders, they also now register violent offenders, like murderers and armed robbers who are released from prison.