DESERT HOT SPRINGS – Desert Hot Springs police unveiled a Web site tool Wednesday that allows residents to track the whereabouts of sex offenders in the city.
The system, called OffenderWatch, contains up-to-date information on the location and status of registered offenders, police said.
There are 69 registered sex offenders living in Desert Hot Springs listed on the Web site, said Jim Knabb, a community resource specialist for the department. He said Desert Hot Springs is the first city in the Coachella Valley to invest in OffenderWatch, which has been around for about 10 years.
“This will alert us when they are not compliant,” Knabb said.
Parents can conduct a computer search around schools, gyms, parks, day care centers and homes to see if a sex offender lives nearby. Residents can also register addresses within the city, and the Web site will automatically monitor the address and send an e-mail alert if an offender moves to the area.
The Web site also allows residents to track offenders by name, Knabb said.
Knabb said the department has always tracked the location of offenders, but this new tool gives the public access to more information.
The department is thinking about adding arsonists and other offenders to the database, Knabb said.
The total cost of the web tool is around $3,500 a year, he said.