Sex offender alert service now includes Wyoming

2013-11-18T08:00:00Z Sex offender alert service now includes WyomingBy MEGAN CASSIDY Casper Star-Tribune The Billings Gazette
November 18, 2013 8:00 am  • 

A free alert service that specializes in sex-offender registry notifications recently expanded its domain to include Wyoming.

AlertID is a multi-tiered system that grabs public information from state sex offender registries and dispatches it to registered users.

The Wyoming Sex Offender Registry is a state databank that allows the public to search for convicted offenders by name or area of residence. Profiles include photographs, physical descriptions of the offenders and their vehicles, the crimes they were convicted for, and status — whether or not he or she is compliant with the registry. There are currently 344 registered offenders in Natrona County.

Sgt. John Becker from the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office said the website is updated daily, if not hourly. By Wyoming statute, law enforcement is required to send mail notifications to neighbors within 750 feet of an offender’s residence.

AlertID founder Keli Wilson said the Las Vegas-based company is tied directly to state databases but pushes new information out to members via up-to-date email notifications. The site also offers a mobile app.

Upon registration, a user sees an interactive map of his or her residential area, complete with sex offender pins and the distance the offender lives from the user’s home.

Wilson said she receives success stories from users all the time.

In one instance, she recalled, a mother and daughter moved to a new area while the woman’s husband was overseas. The real estate agent befriended the mother and allowed her and her child to live with him until the house hunt was over.

The woman signed up for AlertID and learned that not only was there a sex offender in her area, but it was the man she had agreed to live with.

The website also serves as a community social platform. The site directs the user to a Facebook-style message board where neighbors can communicate with one another about crime tips or trends in their area.

Wilson said she often hears of residents posting reports about suspicious people following children home from school buses.

“Now everyone in the area is on the watch for them. It’s really preventing future attempts,” Wilson said. “Knowledge is power.”

A mobile app feature Wilson stressed is “My Family Wallet,” which allows users to upload a photo and profile of a child, elderly family member or even family pet to be able to send to law enforcement and the community in case of an emergency. The information is only dispersed at the user's discretion.

AlertID does not work directly with law enforcement in Wyoming, but does in other states, Wilson said.

Becker said he had never heard of AlertID specifically, but added that law enforcement has looked into employing similar systems in the past.

In addition to the sex-offender alerts, AlertID also offers advisories for severe weather, earthquake, major hazmat events, major fire alerts and crime advisories.

AlertID is free for the public and law enforcement, Wilson said, and is funded by family-friendly advertisers in the area.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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