October 21, 2014

State sex offender registry receives an upgrade

Iowa’s Sex Offender Registry is getting an upgrade, thanks to a nearly $110,000 federal grant. Terry Cowman, with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, says the money will be used by local sheriff’s offices to purchase needed equipment.

“The equipment involves things like laptop computers, digital cameras for taking offenders’ pictures and electronic signature pads so we can continue our digital move to a paperless project,” Cowman said. Iowa sheriffs’ offices register and monitor more than 5,700 sex offenders statewide.

Dozens of sheriffs have said they need equipment upgrades to set up remote registration stations and avoid delays in getting information posted. “We hope to continue to get the resources spread out across the state,” Cowman said. “I believe we’ll have three-quarters of the counties affected by this particular grant.”

Last year, the Iowa Sex Offender Registry (SOR) emailed more than 283,000 notifications on the movement of offenders and changes in relevant information. The SOR website, www.IowaSexOffender.com, averages over one million page views per month.