Oklahoma Counties Purging Some Sex Offenders From Registry

Monday, October 14th 2013, 10:08 pm
By: News On 6

Law enforcement agencies across the state are being required to take some sex offenders off the registry.

It's part of an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling that went into effect this year. The Tulsa County Sheriff's office says it has more than 300 sex offenders that deputies are responsible for monitoring.

In the past month, the office was required to take about 2 percent off the sex offenders list.

A white board is one way the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office keeps track of area sex offenders.

"It's a full-time job staying on top of it," said Sgt. Randy Chapman.

Chapman said some deputies spend their entire shifts trying to hunt down sex offenders.

"We spend a lot of time and man hours trying to determine who belongs where they belong and who is telling us the truth," he said.

Chapman recently got a letter from the state saying he could remove a man from the sex offender registry.

6/26/2013 Related Story: OK Court Ruling Could Remove Thousands From Sex Offender Registry

"They'll start trickling in and, as we get them coming in, we'll start trying to remove them from our registry. That just gives us one less that we'll have to go out and check on or take care of," Chapman said.

This was all set into motion after a 2007 law created three tiers of sex offenders. Level ones are considered low-danger. Level twos are moderate. And level threes are high-risk sex offenders who will have to be registered for the rest of their lives.

James Starkey was set to be removed from the registry before this law went into effect. After the law, he was considered a "level three," so he went to the Oklahoma Supreme Court to fight the new law.

Now, thousands of Oklahoma sex offenders will be erased from the registry.

Chapman said this will allow his deputies to focus on the serious violators.

"You're always going to have that handful of people that aren't going to go by the rules. They're going to live down by the park or down by the church where they're not supposed to be at," Chapman said.

The Department of Corrections is currently going through the 7,000 registered sex offenders in Oklahoma. Each case has to be reviewed individually, so it will take time for everyone to be notified.