New Equipment Expedites Sex Offender Registry Checks

While some law enforcement agencies are gearing up to purchase new equipment for their vehicles to allow them to update the sex offender registry while on the road, several agencies have reported that they have had that equipment in place for several years.

Marshall County Sheriff Tom Chamberlin approached the county council last week with a request to purchase three laptop computers for his department – computers which, Chamberlin said, would be used by detectives and officers while checking on individuals currently registered as sex offenders. The equipment, at a cost of $3000, would be paid for out of the fund into which sex offender fees are paid.

However, while the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department is looking to purchase this new equipment, Pulaski County Sheriff Mike Gayer said his department has had this equipment in place since 2008. Gayer said he was familiarized with the equipment during his time as a state trooper, and when he was elected sheriff of Pulaski County in 2007, he made it a high priority to implement the system.

Gayer explained the system allows officers to perform just about every task the dispatch center can, including running driver’s license information, vehicle registrations, VIN checks, and countless other tasks. Gayer said the equipment also provides the ability to look up information on a weapon, write reports while in the car and print them remotely at the dispatch center, and it also provides a map of the county, complete with the locations of on-duty police officers and EMS.

Gayer said that while it is convenient to have this equipment, it can become a bit crowded in police cruisers. While the cars are slowly getting smaller, police officers are starting to wear more and more gear and house more equipment in their vehicles. However, Gayer said it’s definitely worth it.