Seattle Courant

Gov. Gregoire Announces New Sex Offender Tracking Database

By Keith Vance
March 9, 2009 10:03PM

The database pulls up 835 known sex offenders living in Seattle. For example, within a two mile radius of The Deluxe Bar and Grill on Broadway there are 271 offenders. If you plug in the address of Seattle Center, you'll see that 245 known offenders live within 2 miles of the Space Needle.

This is "community policing at its best," Gregoire said. "Every penny has been well spent."

The new online database allows anyone to search for potential sexual predators living within a two mile, half mile or quarter mile radius of their home, work, church or school.

Gregoire was motivated to create the tracking system after the July 2007 kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old Zina Linnik in Tacoma.

"We have a much better handle of where our sex offenders are living," Gregoire said.

In addition to where they live, there is also a photo of the offender, as well as their age, height, weight, eye and hair color, along with their race and sometimes, but not allows, the crime, or crimes, they were convicted of.

While this system is meant to help keep people informed of the whereabouts of known sex offenders, "It's not perfect," said Don Pierce, the executive director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs. "Evil people will continue to do evil things," he said.

By entering your full name, street address and e-mail address, the system will notify you when a registered sex offender moves into your neighborhood.

To check out the new system, visit http://www.sheriffalerts.com/counties.php?state=wa.

View this morning's press conference on TVW here.