Volume 3 Number 31
July 31, 2006

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GALLAGHER:  FAMILIES WILL HAVE MORE INFORMATION TO HELP TRACK SEXUAL PREDATORS
CFO's call for better protections results in improved website

Tom Gallagher, Florida’s chief financial officer, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey today announced that Florida’s families for the first time will have access to information to help them identify sexual predators’ vehicles via the state’s sex offender web site.  The nearly 39,000 offenders currently listed on the site have victimized children as well as adults and the elderly.  Gallagher suggested the enhanced search feature at a Cabinet meeting last June. 

“This enhancement will empower Floridians with greater information about the people who live in their neighborhoods so that our children, our seniors and our loved ones can be informed and protected,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher today also urged FDLE to pursue establishing a system that would allow Floridians, free of charge, to receive a notification when a sexual predator or offender registers an address within a certain distance from their home or other address such as their child’s college apartment or dormitory or a nursing home where a parent is receiving care.  Gallagher said he is aware that some private vendors provide a similar service, but often do so for a fee.

“Florida especially shines when it comes to ensuring that information about sexual predators and offenders is readily accessible," said FDLE Commissioner Bailey.  "Florida's sexual predator/offender web site typically logs over half a million hits each month.  Adding vehicles and vessels to the site is another valuable tool for parents, families and citizens to use to be familiar with registered offenders and predators in their area.”

Of the 39,000 offenders listed on the web site, currently about 25,000 are still alive and living outside of prison, and about 18,000 have registered vehicles or vessels, according to FDLE.

The Web site can be accessed through the FDLE home page at www.fdle.state.fl.us as well as on the Department of Financial Services’ web site at www.MyFloridaCFO.com.  These links also lead to information about Florida sexual offender and predator registration laws, highlighted offenders who are wanted for failure to register, and other related informational links. As of today, the updated site will also include a user-friendly tab that gives parents up-to-date information on vehicles and vessels registered to the listed offenders.  The information will include the make, tag number, color, type and year of vehicles and vessels.