New technology to keep track of sex offenders announced by Cobb sheriff
Cobb Sheriff Craig Owens held a news conference last week announcing a new service being added to its existing Sheriff’s Office app, OffenderWatch, which will keep track of sex offenders in the county.
Anyone who has the free Cobb County Sheriff’s Office mobile app will now be able to keep track of registered sex offenders in the county via this service.
Sheriff Owens commented that there are just over 600 registered sex offenders in Cobb and that the implementation of OffenderWatch onto their app is another way to help keep the community safe.
Said Owens, “It will let you see, on your phone, our registered sex offenders in Cobb County. No matter where you are in the county, it will show where they are.”
With this service, the office will save time and money, as deputies will now be able to see when sex offenders move out of the county through the app. The technology will also give Owens’ office the chance to collaborate more closely with other law enforcement agencies, such as the U.S. Marshals Service, on sex crime investigations.
During the press conference, the process was explained by F.J. Eastman, OffenderWatch’s national business director who said the technology connects a parent’s phone with their child’s, allowing parents to track when their children encounter a sex offender.
The parent will get an alert saying “Please contact Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, this guy has contacted your child.” Parents will also receive notifications when their children are in the area of a known sex offender.
The app also includes a “no-go zone”, which allows parents to enter the addresses of people they do not want their children to be around and get notified when their child is with that person.
An official from the company that created the Cobb Sheriff’s app, Kevin Cummings, said the partnership with OffenderWatch is for $500 and comes at no cost to Georgia taxpayers. He went on to explain that even though a map for sex offenders were already on the app, OffenderWatch’s offering goes beyond that.
Cummings said, “Now, it also provides additional functionalities and additional menus to allow the citizens of Cobb County to receive information.”
Added features include the ability to search for sex offenders by name, address and even telephone number.