Army Looks To Create Sex Offender Registry On Posts - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Army Looks To Create Sex Offender Registry On Posts

FORT HOOD, TX (KXXV) - The Army is facing pressure to create a searchable database to identify registered sex offenders on military installations across the country.

The push comes just months after the Army issued an order to discharge all known sex offenders who may currently be serving, and while the Army is aware of the status of each soldier who may be convicted of a sex offense, there is no searchable database that identifies sex-offender family members or civilian workers who may live or work on post.

Back in 2005, the issue of not having any sex offender registry on military installations was first brought up by a group called the Army Family Action Plan. They began getting numerous submissions about sex offenders working on posts across the country, and they decided it was time to create a military-wide registry to make sure those individuals were known not only to the Army, but the public as well.

"It's compliance," Bell County sex crimes unit Lt. Michele Cianci said. "You know how we're really big on compliance here throughout Bell County making sure that our sex offenders live where they say they're living and work where they say they're working, and, this way, it's just another tracking tool for the military."

A.F.A.P.'s plan was to register any individual holding a Department of Defense identification card who was currently listed as a sex offender. 

The issue laid dormant for years until this past February when the group resurfaced with their initiative and went before the Army Department Headquarters. They confirmed that there was no current system in place to identify sex offenders on posts, and they decided it was time to for a resolution.

"I think that it's great that the military is looking into it to develop a database," Cianci said. "I think it's really needed, and I think it's long overdue, but this way, we're all talking to one another - all the military plus local law enforcement agencies - because right now we aren't doing that."

While the issue is considered still active by the Army, Congressional legislation has to be enacted before a database requirement can be signed into law. Many sex crime officials say they believe this latest push sets the wheels in motion to finally get this issue resolved.

"I'm sure it's going to take time for all the bits and pieces of the puzzle to come together before they actually develop this database, but at least they have it on the radar and they know that it's important," Cianci said.

The Army says they're currently working on the issue to determine how to implement a database if that law does eventually get passed.
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