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AL: Colbert County Sheriff issues apology following “miscommunication” in sex offender notification


Tuscumbia, Ala. – Colbert County’s top law enforcement officer issued an apology first thing Monday morning. A lack of communication with other law enforcement agencies in the county led to a delay in residents being notified of a sex offender registration.

There are 122 registered sex offenders in Colbert County. It’s part of Sheriff Frank Williamson’s job to keep up with them. Recently, however, one registration slipped through the cracks.

“I want to apologize for my part in that miscommunication,” stated Williamson.

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  1. New Person

    From the article:
    The police chiefs of Tuscumbia, Muscle Shoals, and Sheffield have agreed to notify residents in their city of sex offender registrations within a 2,000-foot circle. The sheriff will then notify all the residents inside a 2,500-foot circle which could include other jurisdictions.

    This is full promotion of the registry. This is akin to a stock in the middle of town square. Is this what SCOTUS said that the registry was not?

    • AJ

      @New Person:
      Yeah, so much for the affirmative actions required of a citizen to get the information that Smith addressed:
      “An individual seeking the information must take the initial step of going to the Department of Public Safety’s Web site, proceed to the sex offender registry, and then look up the desired information. The process is more analogous to a visit to an official archive of criminal records than it is to a scheme forcing an offender to appear in public with some visible badge of past criminality. ”
      Now the “official archive of criminal records” comes to you! No need to visit anywhere. Also, so much for there not being “some visible badge of past criminality” going on.

      • Tim Moore

        The big difference between 2003 and today is not only technology. It used to be you were warned to use the registry only if you had a reason to know, and you had suspicions about a particular person and tgevsystem was set up so. Otherwise nameless offenders were anonymous pins on a map in the general location of the residence. Now the police and private firms are encouraging people to look at the registry, because, what the heck, aren’t you just curious to find out where the offenders are, their lurid sounding offenses, phone numbers addresses, scars, etc.? A serious tool now turns into an base amusement. How can that servicing of the random public’s morbid curiosity still be considered a public safety intent. If anything the government has abdicated any responsibility for the names on the list, has just thrown them out into the digital public square for any use one can make of them whatsoever. You do that only when you mean to allow harm to a population and wash your hands of it.

  2. Agamemnon

    So nobody broke any laws. No one was hurt or threatened. Just a community had missed the opportunity to harrass a citizen for a few days.

    Who knows what shenanigans that registrant was getting up to in that tumultuous time! Making coffee? Checking his mail? Mowing his lawn while parents didn’t bother to shield their children from his predatory gaze?

    Wait, was this guy even convicted of an offense against a minor?

  3. TS

    Think he was in contact with the sheriff in NC by chance? Brothers from different mothers perhaps?

  4. David

    I just love (sarcasm) how conscientious the sheriff is in wanting to over-notify the local residents. Why doesn’t that same conscientiousness apply to ensuring the rights of people to be entirely done with their punishment and to re-enter society free of all the burdens and consequences of registration?

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