Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Status Update: Operation Safe ShelterAUSTIN – Last Thursday the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) launched Operation Safe Shelter, a new emergency service that provides registered sex offender information to evacuation shelter personnel.
Since Operation Safe Shelter’s launch, emergency shelters have provided 5,555 evacuee names for OAG personnel to compare with the Department of Public Safety’s sex offender registry. As of today, the OAG review uncovered 18 confirmed sex offenders. An additional 36 possible matches remain under review but have not yet been confirmed by OAG personnel.
The evacuee lists containing confirmed matches were provided by shelters in San Antonio, Mount Vernon, New Boston, Paris and Troup. The subjects were required to register as sex offenders after committing crimes ranging from indecency with a child to aggravated sexual assault.
After confirming that subjects appeared on the sex offender registry, OAG personnel informed shelter supervisors and local law enforcement officials about the confirmation, thereby enabling authorities to closely monitor the subjects or otherwise respond appropriately.
Under Article 62.055 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, registered sex offenders must notify local law enforcement within seven days of changing their address. Failure to timely notify authorities could result in felony charges against the offender.
Evacuation shelter personnel can contact the Safe Shelter Hotline at (866) 385-0333 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.