This past December, Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) made seven arrests in connection with the “Operation Holiday Check” county-wide operation aimed at targeting sex offenders and predators in violation of their release conditions.
Prior to the operation, WCSO used grant money from the U.S. Marshals Service to conduct significant pre-sweep research regarding 100 high-risk offenders. Officers researched and compiled data with OffenderWatch’s real-time records to compile motor vehicle archives for unreported vehicles, information from computer-aided dispatch calls for service related to associated addresses and names, potential phone numbers and properties aggregated from TLO software, and social media information from potential unreported phones and e-mail addresses.
After compiling all relevant information into an OffenderWatch verification form, officers then presented it to the applicable offender to review and sign for confirmation. If an offender failed to report additional phone numbers, e-mails and other addresses that have been discovered, they have then officially violated the terms of their conviction.
In December 2020, cell phone records were subpoenaed to track movements of suspected violating offenders and found some were leaving the county without making proper notifications to their local law enforcement agency. Thanks to OffenderWatch, officers were able to notate missing data in offender files so when the law enforcement team conducted their residence checks, missing data and photos of residences were instantly compiled and shared with partner agencies.
Thanks to OffenderWatch’s comprehensive data management system, officers were able to uncover a number of violations that would have otherwise never been discovered. Officers can utilize our verification form not only to confirm their aggregated data, but also signal to registered offenders that agencies are paying careful attention and insisting on strict compliance.
Det. Sgt. Brett Surace of WCSO’s Criminal Investigations Division says that OffenderWatch is the “repository and centerpiece” for a compliance management program, noting that “it doesn’t get any better than this,” after the successful operation.
WCSO’s usage of OffenderWatch for Operation Holiday Check exemplifies a national best practice on how our software easily manages, compiles and shares data between law enforcement agencies, U.S. Marshals offices and other connected agencies, keeping our communities safe from violating offenders.
Learn more about how your agency can join the OffenderWatch Network.