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National

LA: Louisiana sheriffs promoting new app that alerts parents if sex offenders contact children

[theadvocate.com – 10/16/19]
Louisiana sheriffs are backing a new mobile app that will alert parents if a registered sex offender contacts their child.
The app, Safe Virtual Neighborhood, is the newest development from OffenderWatch and parent company Watch Systems, a Covington-based company known for tracking sex offenders. Watch Systems and Louisiana’s law enforcement community have worked together since 2000, when the company launched its sex offender registry system.
The Safe Virtual Neighborhood app utilizes existing information collected in law enforcement offender databases and applies it to people’s personal mobile devices. To use it, parents can purchase the app for $9.99 from either the Android or Apple app stores.
The app will alert parents if the child is contacted by a phone number or email address belonging to someone on the sex offender registry. It can also track a user’s location and alert a parent if a child lingers near the address of a registered sex offender for an extended period, Cormaci said.

Join the discussion

  1. NorthEastPENN

    Ok, so since mainly 4 to 6% of offenses are committed by strangers and of that a very small portion are repeat offenders (who are on the registry) I guess this app will take care of protecting children online so a parent can feel confident their child is safe from harm – OH BUT WAIT!!!!

    What about the 95% of abuse of children that happens from the people that the child already knows in their own life (no prior criminal record) – parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, teachers in their own schools, coaches in their own schools, friends etc – what app will protect them from these “PREDATORS”!!?? – My Bad! No one will pay for an app to do this as in their minds only convicted offenders are dangerous and a possible problem.

    OffenderWatch has parents and the public believing that the only concern that a parent should have is of a already convicted person and everyone else is safe for their child to be around.

    Odd how the news does not really get around enough of adults in relationships with the child’s other parent who tie them up, starve them, beat them and leave them for dead, or even sell them for s%x – I see this in the news almost every single week and sometimes more than once a week as I read the online newspapers every morning. What app will protect their kids from these people?

    • Will Allen

      I’m mean, people who think this is useful are stupid. What can you say? Same with the Registries.

      If an adult is communicating with my child, I don’t give a flip if that person is listed on a big government hit list or not. I’m going to be in the middle of it and controlling it. Always did. Until I knew they were old enough and educated enough to be smart enough. And then I still watched.

      Good parents won’t ever need any hit list or some idiotic app from big government and the companies/people they are paying $$$$$ to scam people. Bad parents will never have enough big government help.

      All just dumb theater and gossip.

    • R M

      This app is not about protecting children, it’s about profiting off of society’s fear.

      From the article https://www.theadvocate.com/acadiana/news/crime_police/article_3fa59e28-f069-11e9-a4e9-4b48ce017a45.html “Mike Cormaci, Watch Systems co-founder and president, said offender registries and opt-in alert systems have been successful and it’s important that law enforcement and private partners adapt to the changing behaviors of children to keep them safe.” It’s been successful for him and his company, no one else as 95+% of new sex crimes are NOT by those on the registry.

      “To use it, parents can purchase the app for $9.99 from either the Android or Apple app stores.” Profiting is his main goal, not safety. This has been the goal of all tyrants who fed on the fears dictated and mainstreamed to the US (and transmitted to the entire world).

      “Under state law, offenders are required to register their email monikers and phone numbers, Cormaci said.” I don’t know all state laws, but the two I’ve been in don’t publicize e-mails or phone numbers. Sounds like a privacy issue to me.

      Parents are caretakers of their children…. let’s keep it that way.

      • Will Allen

        Yep, I bet a person would not have to look very far to see exactly how these criminal sheriffs are lining their pockets. I’ll bet anyone a billion dollars right now that this scumbag Mike Cormaci and his thieving, fear company are giving plenty of cash to criminal politicians to get more awesome, super-useful “laws” passed and to sheriffs that will “help” them develop such gravely needed apps like these. Registries are about $$$$$.

        If this criminal regime thinks this is so useful and such a great public safety tool, why aren’t they providing to everyone for free? They should purchase some sort of unlimited license so any resident could get the app right from the sheriff’s website. I mean, if they actually cared about protecting children. Or are only people willing to pay deserving of being protected? Maybe a parent could trade the sheriff some food stamps for the app? Do some deals like that.

        I think when scumbag Mike Cormaci said “Under state law”, he was just referring to the criminal state of Louisiana. A truly progressive state for sure, ha ha ha ha ha ha.

        But make no mistake, I am absolutely certain that scumbag Mike Cormaci and other grifters are working very, very hard to try to get all states to try to require pariahs to give them phones #s, e-mail addresses, etc. They will work hard to grow their theft.

        I live in Georgia and they tried to force e-mail addresses briefly. They’ve never required phone numbers. They’ve been sued up one side and down the other and in response, their dumbass Registration laws have piles and piles of restrictions/requirements that are dependent on when a person was convicted. To get around their illegal ex post facto crimes, of course. The e-mail requirement was lost during the lawsuits. No one in Georgia is required to give phone number or e-mails addresses. But I’m sure OffenderWatch is trying to bring their immoral swamp to Georgia.

        Frankly, I’m really pretty shocked that Georgia is not a LOT more backwards than it is. There is plenty of stupid in their Registration laws but they are not as idiotic as a lot of states are. Shocking.

        There are a couple of great comments at the article, both from names I recognize well. Shelly Stow always has great comments but I particularly like the one from Lance Mitaro there. I need to get more Facecrook accounts so I can comment there as well.

        Really, what do you think people would think if they read an article like this and then saw 100 comments making fun of the idiots and giving the proper disrespect and contempt that they so richly deserve? How about 500 comments? 1,000? People need to get off of their rear ends or stop complaining about these laws.

      • Facts should matter

        Someone needs to embarrass and shame the fear profiteers at Watch Systems. All of their claims and statements need to be delegitimized as fear pandering rhetoric. There’s NO such THING as emerging trends or evolving threats “against” children. That nonsense is right up there with John Walsh’s idiotic “bus surfing” claim. This kind of hysterical fear propaganda is very prevalent in the security theater cottage industry and is consistent with their general modus operandi when it comes to promoting statistically insignificant scenarios happening to children.

        They might as well be selling asteroid insurance. Makes about as much sense.

  2. ab

    When will everyone actually realize most new sex offenses are not committed by anyone already convicted? Besides the whole reason registries are publicly accessible is for “community awareness” , anyone who pays 9.99 let alone any other amount for an app or access to other tracking services is wasting money. Plus who guarantees data in this app is accurate. I hope lawsuits are filed against these companies and law enforcement agencies who team up with them then misuse data from registries.

    • R M

      “When will everyone actually realize most new sex offenses are not committed by anyone already convicted?” They will realize it when THEY are affected.

  3. C

    Beyond fear mongering hype, I’d love to know what statistical data the cops and Offender Watch have that indicates RCs contact kids via phone and email. I can’t think of a bigger waste of $9.99.

  4. Leken Asiri

    So…

    In order for the app to work:
    1. Parents pay $9.99 for the app.
    2. They must surreptitiously install it on their kid’s devices.

    The premise of the app ASSUMES that:
    1. Parents in Louisiana are smarter than their kids.
    2. Kids are not tech savvy.

    • Sunny

      It also assumes that the one-in-a-million registrant who tries to contact a child online will be using his registered phone number or email address. Someone planning to abduct or molest a child (or whatever else is in these people’s imaginations) isn’t going to stop and think, “Hmm, I better make sure I use my registered email so I don’t violate my registration requirements.” It takes all of two minutes to create a new gmail account and for about the same price as this app, you can get a burner phone at walmart.

  5. Don’t tread on me

    Good! They will probably never admit it but this app will be proof that registrant recidivism is NOT the danger. These idiots are wasting money looking in the wrong places. Sooooo stupid

  6. Bill

    Tech company lobbying the Sheriffs Dept to sell a product while they use children for their own financial gain.

  7. AJ

    The only “predator” in this story is the company preying on unfounded fears. This company better hope SCOTUS never overturns, or even constrains, things; it’ll bankrupt them. Notice that it’s a one-time fee, not a monthly one. As a one-time fee, by the time the parents realize it was a waste of money, it’s too late. But as said above, this app will help show what a false danger this all is. Unfortunately, the data will not be available and aren’t valid in court.

    So how does this app “protect” from the thousands of “dangerous” RCs who live in States where they aren’t on a public ML?

  8. Disgusted in Michigan

    I’ll be laughing my ass off as people start wasting 10 bucks a pop on this stupid idea. All its going to do is prove that registrants are NOT contacting children. Its going to be people NOT on the registry contacting their kids, and since those numbers will not be in any database, the cops won’t know who to go after lol. Just goes to show that cops are looking in the wrong direction.

  9. Will Allen

    So pathetic. What kind of moron would think this would be useful? Truly?

    If I were a Registered Person and I wanted to contact children for nefarious reasons, I promise that I would never use a phone, e-mail, or anything else that the big government criminal regimes knew about. How hard is that for people to understand? Registry Nazis are idiots.

    The simple fact is that scumbags that support this kind of trash don’t care that they are harassing over 1 million families just for the f*ck of it. They don’t care. Hell, probably 80% of those scumbags just like this kind of stuff ONLY because it harasses people. They don’t care if it does nothing useful. And of course plenty of people are just trying to scab $$$ for anything, even if immoral.

    It is a sad, sad day in Amerika when “people” think it is acceptable that big government forces people to tell them their phone #s, e-mail addresses, etc. so that they can PRETEND that they are doing ANYTHING to protect anybody. Sad and pathetic.

    This article takes comments but it seems you need a Facecrook account. All of my Facecrook accounts are currently suspended. I need to go create about 100 more. These criminal regimes want to silence dissent and critics. But they aren’t going to silence me.

    The crazy thing about Facecrook is that they are apparently suspending accounts simply if you don’t have any photos associated with them!! I will have an account and make some relatively tame comments with it, doing nothing more than expressing a tame opinion that is not PC. Then someone apparently reports that to Facecrook. I have a feeling that it is often law enforcement criminals that are doing it, which is beyond outrageous.

    A sheriff’s department will have a Facecrook page where the public is discussing issues. If you post something there that is anti-Registry, someone will report your account to Facecrook. I’ve had it happen at least 5 times. I suspect it is the criminal sheriff’s department itself. I have directly accused some of them of doing that. They are ALWAYS too weak to even respond. They are too weak to even say how they operate. THAT is a criminal operation in action. Governments that are criminal hide their actions and make you FORCE them to disclose them (e.g. FOIA). Legitimate governments operate transparently. But there is nothing legitimate about Registries so they have to hide what they can get away with.

    Anyway, make no mistake – the attempts by these criminal regimes to prevent Facecrook access is to silence dissent and critics. That is the reason. They will lie all day that it is for “public safety” or “protecting children”. But only a real idiot would believe that. They are liars. Always.

  10. TS

    I’d be interested to know what Louisiana state law says about using registry information for applications like this. Knowing California says in its state law it’s not to be used for things like this, but we all know that’s not necessarily followed.

    I did a cursory search online and could not come up with anything in the Louisiana state code. That does not necessarily mean it’s not there because I might have used the wrong search terms. If they have something that prevents this, it sounds like a quick court challenge to squash via injunction the sheriff’s endorsement and potentially the company’s application before it really gets going, so can lose money on the development. That’s sticking it to the man!

    • Will Allen

      Just blabbing off the top of my head but it does seem like the criminal itself could create such an app. Or even list the information on its public Registry (or provide a search).

      So, if the criminal regime could do it, I think it could very likely contract to a private company to do the government work (as they very often do and as we’ve seen with “Parent’s For Megan’s Flaw” in New York, for example). So the criminal regime could contract to the OffenderWatch scumbags.

      However, if they do not contract to OffenderWatch scumbags, then why couldn’t ANY company get the e-mail addresses or phone numbers? Why not? And if they can, then MY company wants them. Why can’t my company have them? I would love, love, love to get my hands on their database.

      Even if they do contract to OffenderWatch scumbags, why couldn’t I say I want the same information for my own apps? Or do the apps/companies have to be approved by the criminal regime? Sounds like BS to me.

  11. Disgusted in Michigan

    As an afterthought..the article said that messages won’t be stored or read. Yeah right. Watch what happens the first time some underage girl sends a breast shot to her underage boyfriend. Child porn charges against them both. Guaranteed.
    And how are people on the registry supposed to get a child’s phone number or email address anyway?
    Parent: “Here’s your new phone Becky. Don’t be giving your number to people you don’t know.”
    Becky runs straight down the road to a registrant’s house and gives him her new phone number. Yeah right. I have a hard enough time getting my best friend’s phone number whenever he changes it. How am I supposed to get some kid’s number even if I wanted to?

  12. Eric

    This seems like a blatant violation of civil rights. I have a conviction from many years ago. I completed every condition imposed upon me by the justice system long ago. I am incident free for almost two decades. I live and work in the community as a regular person. There might be an occasion when I would contact a minor, perhaps a friend of the family, someone I’m dating, or perhaps trying to reach a client through their family. This is all perfectly normal. It would seem a total violation that the parent would get sent personal information when I have done nothing to warrant that. Perhaps if I was on probation maybe, because then I am forbidden to contact minors without consent of the parent, but now there is no such condition.

  13. kat

    So now we have another company profiting off the backs of registrants.
    When vindictive people start “spoofing registrants numbers” as “the caller ID number”, can registrants then turn around and sue this company for causing them unnecessary pain and suffering (because you know if a registrant’s number shows up, there will definitely be pain and suffering, that registrant will be hauled off to jail before anyone bothers to check if the number was “spoofed”.
    One of the comments in the article was something to the effect that “parents don’t know what their children are doing on their phones/online.” Perhaps that’s the problem….too many parents just not paying attention to what their kids are doing, instead this company will now offer them a “panic button” to press so they can blame their lack of attention on registrants.
    The world has truly gone to hell in a hand-basket.

  14. Chris f

    Like Will Allen said above, a registered person with nefarious intent wont use the email or phone number on file to commit a crime. Does law enforcement or citizens really think someone that is going to break the law by corrupting their minor will follow the law when it comes to only using the phone and email they registered? Wow…

    We need more laws like this to solve all the world’s problems. Let’s make laws that someone that is going to rob a bank must register that plan 24 hours in advance with their local police department. It’s genius!

  15. Ali

    So what happens when a person thought this person is 18 and this child lied their age? well I think the real purpose is to put more blind sided guys like me to get hit with a felony and has to register for first time.

  16. C

    But if it saves just one…

  17. Bill

    Let this one play out.

    When new incidents occur while using the app and realizing that the perpetrators are not on the Registry, people will cry foul.

    The truth will emerge like an ugly overgrown blackhead: full of smelly, cystic pus of BS.

  18. G4Change

    I swear you can’t make this shit up!!!

  19. Sunny

    Even if their ridiculous fears were justified, it’s unlikely someone on the registry is going to email or text a child, mostly because they wouldn’t even have that information to begin with. Most people communicate via social media, nearly all of which conceals your phone and email. You can’t extract an email or phone number from Snapchat. The OffenderWatch website indicates the $9.99 app (annual *subscription* fee) is limited to “Snapchat, texts, phone calls or emails” and that’s only on Android devices. iPhones only get email monitoring. The fine print: “Presently, SVN can only monitor phone and text communications on Android devices. Apple does not currently allow outside applications to have access to phone activity.”

  20. Agamemnon

    $10 for a false sense of security

    Now the corporatiobs are honing in to profit off of people’s misconceptions. The plan is coming together.

    And when a parent sues after their child is victimized anyway, the company can simply shrug and say “They weren’t on the registry.”

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