Escondido residents can now opt to receive email notifications any time a registered sex offender moves within two miles of their address, school or playground.
Police Chief Jim Maher announced the new program called OffenderWatch Wednesday, encouraging his residents to sign up for it and become aware of compliance changes in nearby offenders’ records.
The tool can be accessed on the department's website.
The list of sex offenders is updated as they become registered in the police department’s system. Changes in the offenders’ statuses are also registered and sent to residents.
Though free to users, the program will cost Escondido $6,500 per year. In addition to the program, residents could see registered sex offenders on the Megan’s Law database. Police departments are required to report sex offenders to the state-run record.
The difference between this new program and the Megan's Law database is that users get email alerts, instead of having to check the website themselves.The system also allows users to follow a specific sex offender and see when they leave the neighborhood.
Carrie Mcgonigle, the mother of Amber Dubois, says that feature could be especially useful when looking for missing children.
"I would've wanted to have been notified if my child is missing and all of a sudden this registered is out of here. It sends up red flags to the community and to law enforcement...the cost is nothing in my opinion when it comes to the life of a child."