Sheriff’s Office, School District partner on sex offender program

Parents can sign up for email alerts to track sex offenders

The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and St. Charles Parish School System have partnered to create the Teaching Awareness To Schools Kids (TASK) program to prevent sexual abuse against citizens.

This week parents will receive a brochure outlining an effort aimed at better informing them when sex offenders move in their neighborhoods.

The program is being done in conjunction with the OffenderWatch Initiative (OWI).

“Sex offenders are a problem in the U.S., as well as St. Charles Parish,” Sheriff Greg Champagne said at a press conference Monday announcing the move. “It continues to be a growing, pervasive problem. Prevention is what we’re looking for here.”

Schools Superintendent Felecia Gomez-Walker welcomed the joint venture providing email alerts, as well as working with the Sheriff’s Office.

Champagne said the parish has 78 published sex offenders.“We believe that keeping families informed of sex offenders moving into their neighborhood is an important part of keeping our citizens safe and protected from potential threats to their families,” he said. “This partnership allows us to do that in an easy, free way.”

To locate them by neighborhood, visit www.offenderwatch.com.Parents also can sign up for email alerts informing them of when a convicted sex offender moves in within 5 miles of a residence.

Champagne said 28 percent of parish residents have signed up for the alerts, a number that he hopes to double with this program.

The sheriff said the program isn’t aimed at abusing sex offenders, but rather operate within the notification law.Champagne said the parish’s parents and guardians of children will receive and bring home a brochure detailing specifics about the TASK program, and are asked to review it with their children. They’re asked to have “an honest discussion with them regarding the dangerous reality of sexual abuse and the preventative measures that can be taken to prevent it,”

TASK is a three-step email registration process. Once completed, children can print a map of their area, sign it and submit it to their teacher. Once the assignment has been completed, they will receive a safety prize from a local sponsor Adventure Quest Laser Tag, the sheriff said. Children will receive a free laser tag or bumper car ride or putt-putt game.

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