ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The Belmont County sheriff's office has launched a new resource for citizens to quickly locate the homes of registered sex offenders.
The initiative is available in time for Halloween.
"We have approximately 110 registered sex offenders in Belmont County," said Sheriff David Lucas, adding that the Web site offers a resource for parents of trick or treaters in planning a safe route. "You can register your address, and when you register your address...it will notify you and you will out if there's any sex offenders in your geographic area."
He added that registrants will also be notified if a sex offender moves into their area.
Citizens are encouraged to check any addresses where they or their family spends time.
"If you aren't planning on trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, but will be in a family or friend's neighborhood, register any and all of the addresses where your children spend a lot of time," Lucas stated, adding that the alerts are in real-time and are sent out via e-mail as soon as a new offender registers with the county. "The benefit of registering for this free confidential e-mail alert service is that it allows us to monitor your important addresses for you, thereby keeping you up to date of newly-registered offenders and making it unnecessary for you to have to check your important addresses daily or even weekly."
The Web site can be found at www.belmontsheriff.com. Citizens should click on "Sex Offender Registry Search" on the right hand side under "Links" and follow the instructions to check their neighborhoods.
For further information, call Sgt. James Zusack at (740) 695-7933, ext. 134.
DeFrank can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org