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OSP plans sweep of noncompliant sex offenders

Oregon State Police have announced they will target out-of-compliance sex offenders throughout the month of August.

OSP said in a news release that troopers and investigators will work with parole and probation officials and law-enforcement departments in Jackson, Josephine, Douglas, Klamath, Lake, Coos and Curry counties during the monthlong sweep.

OSP spokesmen declined to say what the operation will entail, but said they would release the methods and results after the sweep is completed.

Recently released sex offenders are required to inform the local OSP office when they move to a new city. They must also re-register as a sex offender every year by their date of birth and inform police of any address changes when they change their residence within a city.

"Participating law-enforcement personnel will take a zero-tolerance stance for those offenders who are not in compliance," said OSP Sgt. Bill Fugate. "However slight the violation may be, we plan on arresting those persons who are out of compliance with their registration requirements."

The OSP Sex Offender Registration Unit tracks the registration of people convicted of sex crimes who reside, work or attend school within Oregon. The registry is the state repository for information, and includes both adult and juvenile offenders.

OSP reports indicate that, as of July 2009, there were approximately 16,000 registered sex offenders in Oregon. This does not include people who moved to Oregon from other states or people in prison on sex crimes.

Medford recently accounted for 500 sex offenders for the first time, Medford police Officer Tom Sweeney said.

"They are coming in from California, and many have just been released from prison and have returned to the city," Sweeney said.

According to Sweeney, who spends much of his time dealing with noncompliant sex offenders, there are approximately 520 offenders registered in Medford.

"I can't explain the sudden increase," Sweeney said. "It could be budgetary because the prisons are being hit hard by the economy, and it could be a bump in new crimes."

A list of offenders, both on and off supervision, can be obtained by calling the Oregon State Police at 503-378-3725 ext. 44429, or by e-mail request at Sexoffender.Questions@state.or.us. People who request a list will need to leave their name, mailing address, and the city or zip code information they seek.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471; or e-mail cconrad@mailtribune.com.