Teams of law officers are out in force--tracking down registered sex offenders in Stark County.
They are checking to make sure the offenders are living where they say they're living, and working where they say they're working.
All in an effort--to keep registered sex offenders compliant with North Dakota law.
"Operation Guardian is a joint law enforcement effort that we're doing right now, to go around and verify all of our sex offender registrants in Stark County, says Sgt. Kylan Klauzer with the Dickinson Police Department."
Along with the overall population in Stark County...
"On any given day of the month we're fluctuating between 60 and 80 actually."
The number of registered sex offenders is up.
"If you backpedal to two years ago, we're still twice the amount of registered sex offenders we were then." says Klauzer.
Registered sex offenders have responsibilities like keeping their home and work addresses up to date with law enforcement.
For the past three days federal and local officers from multiple agencies have been randomly checking in with the sex offenders in the Dickinson area to make sure they're compliant.
"With the transient population we're getting right now with the oil field and other such activities, we're seeing and alarming rate of sex offenders coming and going from the area, this is just one way we're trying to get as much man-power as we can.................
to make sure that our sex offenders in the area are following North Dakota state law with the registration."
Some challenges are actually finding businesses and homes in the ever-growing and changing area.
"Each one presents kind of a unique set of circumstances."
During the three day sting... Officers contacted 75 registered sex offenders in Stark County.
They arrested 14 offenders for failing to comply with their registration requirements.
Currently, there are about 1,924 known sex offenders in the State -- up 254 from last year.
Of the new offenders -- 85 to 90 percent -- are from out-of-state.
North Dakota's Attorney General recently instigated a change that now allows Job Service to compare new employees in the State to sex offender lists here -- and elsewhere.
Doing so produces matches for those evading sex offender registration.
ND Attorney General, Wayne Stenehjem says,"we take a no tolerance approach to this and there are minimum mandatory sentences for sex offenders who fail to register."
Otherwise, the Attorney General says offenders are roughly 99 percent compliant with registering upon entering North Dakota.
And while many sex offenders are still in jail, as for the rest of them, the public wants to know -- where are they?
That information is on the website.
"Sex offenders are less likely to re offend if they have a job; if they have a permanent place to live; and they know we're going to check up on them from time to time," says Stenehjem.
You can find out where registered sex offenders are living at www.sexoffender.nd.gov.
Though the numbers of sex offenders are up, the Attorney General reports there has not been a corresponding increase in sex offenses.
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