Residents of a Chandler neighborhood were surprised last year to discover that a man living on their street was on the state’s list of registered sex offenders. No one had notified them.
It turned out the man registered an address in Yavapai County with authorities but also had a residence in Chandler.
Detective Bill Klapmeyer, who took a call from a concerned neighbor, said Chandler police were unable to charge the man because he was registered at one of his two homes.
“Basically, it was a loophole in the law,” Klapmeyer said.
To address that, Rep. Bob Robson, R-Chandler, has introduced a bill that would require sex offenders to register every address at which they they reside.
“How many situations are out there that we don’t know about?” he told the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday. “There may not be many, but I’d rather play it safe.”
The committee endorsed HB 2019 unanimously.
Convicted sex offenders are required to report their address to their local sheriff. If they don’t have a permanent home, they must provide their physical location and register as a transient at least every 90 days.
Failing to register an address is a Class Four felony punishable by two and half years in prison and up to a $150,000 fine.
The Arizona Department of Public Services maintains a website, www.azsexoffender.org, carrying information on sex offenders.
Dale Wiebusch, legislative associate for the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, said communities need to know where registered sex offenders live so they can notify neighborhoods, schools and day care centers.
“You really need to keep a close eye on them,” he said.