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New York News

"OffenderWatch" Comes To Albany County

By Dave Lucas

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-899079.mp3

Albany, NY – The responsibility of monitoring sex offenders is a diffiult, time-consuming task. The Albany County District Attorney has partnered with the Albany Police Department to launch the cutting-edge "OffenderWatch" program. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Using breakthrough computer tracking technology, as sex offenders move around and about Albany County, "OffenderWatch" acts as an electronic sentinel, giving residents free access to a website to view offenders living in an area surrounding any address they wish to search. DA David Soares says the syetm is being pressed into use in all municipalities within Albany County.

The Albany Police Department purchased "OffenderWatch" last year with the capability to expand the program county-wide. Through the "Making Crime Pay" Program: the seized assets of criminals are used to help pay for it. According to Soares, "OffenderWatch" costs each agency $1500 per year for maintenance. He regards the Capital Region as "one big community" - he's keen on getting municipalities in neighboring counties to participate in the "OffenderWatch" program.