By CANDIE BECK
LOG CABIN STAFF WRITER
AConway Police Department partnered with the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Department and the United States Marshal’s office this week in a joint effort to complete residence verification for sex offenders living in Faulkner County.
The venture, named Operation Safe Playground lasted two days and encompassed locating the whereabouts of 144 registered sex offenders.
With 184 registered sex offenders in Faulkner County, the remaining 40 individuals that were not notified can expect contact with members of law enforcement in the near future.
“We’ll conduct another operation in the near future to make sure those remaining 40 offenders are in compliance,” said Capt. Matt Rice with the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office.
Offenders that work during the day or were not at home when the checks were completed may have a legitimate reason for missing the checks. Not being contacted does not necessarily mean that the offenders have breached their parole, according to LaTresha Woodruff, Conway police department public information officer.
Reports indicate that the operation, which has also been completed in previous years, resulted in eight arrests. One non-offender was arrested for an outstanding warrant, and six local offenders were arrested for various charges including probation violation, possession of a firearm and one offender from Missouri who failed to register in Faulkner County after moving.
Woodruff said the operation is used as a system of checks and balances for offenders to help ensure the safety of Faulkner County residents.
“The operation is a way for law enforcements officers to keep tabs on offenders to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to be,” she said. “With the checks happening as often as possible, it encourages offenders to do a better job at registering with law enforcement agencies.”
According to national laws, sex offenders are required to register with local law enforcement agencies every time they move, even those who have completed their criminal sentences.
Some offenders may be restricted from certain areas where they can live in a community, such as near a school or where children might be.
Spot checks, like the one completed by the combined law enforcement agencies, help to enforce these rules.
For more information on sex offenders listed in Faulkner County, visit www.nsopw.gov. The Log Cabin Democrat also provides a list of Faulkner County sex offenders on its Web site, www.thecabin.net.
(Staff writer Candie Beck can be reached at 501-505-1238 or candie.beck@thecabin.net.)