An effort to more closely monitor registered sex offenders is underway in Punta Gorda. Police dub the new program “Adopt an Offender”. It links individual officers with sexual offenders and sexual predators… there are currently 4 sex offenders, and 1 sexual predator within Punta Gorda city limits. Police Chief - Chuck Rinehart – says recent, high-profile events got his department talking…
“We reviewed our process after the Jessica Lunsford case and asked ourselves were we doing enough, and could we do it better. And we found out we probably could do more, and we could definitely do it better.”
Under the Adopt an Offender Program – all new sexual offenders or predators who move to the city will be assigned an officer. Police will create an offender profile, which includes specific facts of the crime. The officer will notify the neighbors…and distribute fliers to schools and day cares.
Lastly, assigned officers will personally contact the offender at least once a month. Rinehart says his department has already gotten emails from other agencies – as far away as Texas – that are interested in the program.
Thursday, 28 April 2005 01:00