MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Police Department’s Sensitive Crimes Division has launched a new sex offender registration and public notification website called Offender Watch.
Officials say the new service is a citizen-friendly, easy to use website that enables citizens to search for sex offenders in their area. The information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is updated in real-time by the Milwaukee Police Department as offender information changes and is reported.
"I think it's very important for people to know and feel safe about what's going on in their neighborhoods. It's constantly updated, as soon as we receive information that an offender has moved, we update the information. We get about 100 different updates a week that we have to enter into the system," said Milwaukee Police Department Captain of the Sensitive Crimes Unit, Aimee Obergon.
Right now, there are 2,300 sex offenders on the website.
By typing in your address, the site will give you pictures, names and addresses of sex offenders in a five-mile radius.
"It shouldn't be used to harass the offenders or their families but again, it's just an information thing -- knowing who lives in your neighborhood," said Obergon.
By clicking on the offender's name, you get detailed information about their crime and when their incarceration ended.
"It also contains specific information regarding the city ordinance that we have in Milwaukee, and determines whether the offender is in compliance with the ordinance, or if they're not in compliance," said Obergon.
The site cost $12,000 and two years to complete. Milwaukee police say it was worth the time and the price tage.
"Anytime the citizens have more information, that's always a positive for them knowing what's going on in their neighborhood," said Obergon.
There is also an alert feature on the website that allows you to set up direct emails sent to you if and when an offender moves within a five-mile radius of where you live.
There is no cost to use Offender Watch.