PHOENIX - There are more than 14,500 people listed on Arizona's registry of sex offenders, and a tool released by the state can help keep you up-to-date on their whereabouts.
SEARCHABLE MAP AND DATABASE
A tool from Arizona's Department of Public Safety allows you to search for registered sex offenders in your neighborhood and even see them on a map.
Search Arizona's Sex Offender Registry and clickable map: http://az.gov/app/sows/home.xhtml
When you search the state database, you have several options.
You are able to search by zip code or address, as well as a person's last name or electronic ID.
After narrowing your search, you will see a list (with photos if they are available) of every registered sex offender that meets your search parameters. You can then click on the offender's name to view his/her risk level and offenses.
According to DPS, the site serves as "a critical step towards encouraging the public to protect themselves from potential future acts."
The map also shows there are no demographic boundaries for sex offenders. According to DPS, sex offenders can be male or female, rich or poor, employed or unemployed and come from any race.
While there are approximately 14,500 registered sex offenders in Arizona, there are others who have not registered as required by law and hide from authorities.
OPERATION SAFE TREAT
As part of law enforcement's efforts to keep kids safe from people convicted of violent sex crimes and crimes against children, the U.S. Marshals office is going after those that have been on the run.
During a 10-day operation, teams of U.S. Marshals deputies targeted suspects across the Valley. Many of the people they searched for had violent criminal histories, including assault, rape, and child molestation. Some have been missing for more than a decade.
"It's frustrating. These guys register, then go under the radar. But we eventually find them. Throughout the year, we continue to work leads and we will eventually catch them and get them off the streets," said Joe Faranda, with the U.S. Marshals.
This is Operation Safe Treat's fourth year in full force.
U.S. Marshals will also be conducting compliance checks to ensure registered sex offenders are not participating in "Trick or Treat" activities.