The state’s sex offender registry is one download away, thanks to a smart phone app developed by the N.C. Department of Justice.
Local law enforcement believes the app, available for Android and Apple devices should be utilized by families throughout the county.
“I certainly see a need for parents to have the app,” West Jefferson Police Chief Jeff Rose said. “It is good to know who (the sex offenders) are.”
The app is available through the N.C. Department of Justice website, as well as iTunes and the Google Play store. The app provides a map of the state and puts red flags on the homes of sex offenders.
Selecting a house will provide information on the sex offender. According to the N.C. Department of Justice’s sex offender registry, there are 34 sex offenders in Ashe County.
The app allows users to see photos of the registered sex offender, physical descriptions and the crimes the person committed to be placed in the registry.
Ashe County Sheriff James Williams said the app should be downloaded since it is available for public use. The county has another resource available to its citizens.
“Just as well in Ashe County, (residents) can go to the portal page (www.ashecountysheriff.com),” Williams said. “We list everything right there also.”
The statewide registry lists over 20,000 sex offenders. North Carolina state law requires their information to be up to date.
Mecklenburg (808), Guilford (731) and Wake (592) counties have the highest number of sex offenders in the state, according to the DOJ. An additional 3,789 registered offenders in the state live in another state and 2,150 sex offenders are incarcerated.
In addition to using the new app, the list of the county’s and state’s sex offenders is also available online at sexoffender.ncdoj.gov.
State residents can also receive a phone alert when a convicted sex offender moves into their zip code. Residents can sign up by calling the Statewide Automated Victim Assistance & Notification system (NC SAVAN) at 1-877-627-2826.