The Denver Police Department has a new campaign that lets residents know when a sexual predator moves into their neighborhood, informing them through messages on Facebook and YouTube social media sites.
According to CBS Denver, the new program uses Facebook posts to warn the public about sexually violent predators. Once the alert goes out on the site, a video is released on YouTube.
Federal and state laws require that police departments inform community residents when a sexual offender moves into their neighborhood. The social media notifications include details on the offender’s appearance and where they reside.
There are approximately 2,200 sexual predators living throughout the city, said the Denver police who stated online messaging is the way to go.
“We weren’t getting much of a turnout so we tried to get creative and come up with a different way to cast a wide net and get people the information they need,” said police spokesperson Christine Downs.
KDVR reported that a recent post on the Denver Police Department Facebook page warned the public about Anthony William Fritz, a sexually violent predator living in the Ruby Hill neighborhood. Fritz, convicted of several crimes included sexual assault on a child, is living at 1680 South Tejon Street.
For Cathy LaFore, the news was unsettling as her daughter’s family lives near Fritz’s location.
“It’s scary,” she said. “You worry about your children the minute they are born and anything can happen.”
A resident of the neighborhood, Judy Olsen, said she is satisfied with the notifications.
“I think it’s a good thing that there’s a way of spreading the news and keeping people safe,” she said.
Colorado law enforcement agencies from throughout the state have teamed up to create a website that allows individuals the ability to find out more information about sexual predators in their communities. For more information, visit SOTAR.