WUFT News

New Tool Searches Sex Offenders on Florida College Campuses

By and on October 11th, 2013

There are more than 600 registered sex offenders who are working, living and going to school on college campuses in Florida.

The Florida’s Sex Offender Registry now allows students to search for sex offenders on their college campuses and provides a list, including their photograph, offense and residential information.

Florida State Senator Eleanor Sobel partnered with Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement to implement the search as part of the state’s existing public website registry.

Sobel sponsored legislation and secured funding through this year’s Florida legislature.

Samantha Andrews, the public information officer for the FDLE, said that the search function can help students stay vigilant.

“This is a public safety tool and it’s very important that everyone, including students, are able to be aware of their surroundings and help them make better decisions,” Andrews said.

The FDLE is encouraging all colleges, universities and post-secondary schools to add the sex offender registry link to their websites.

Although the University of Florida doesn’t currently have any sex offenders listed, its neighbor, Santa Fe College, does.

Of the three offenders listed, only one is currently enrolled, according to Santa Fe.

The information from the new search tool has raised mixed emotions from students.

Some, like Santa Fe student Stefania Strazzula,  are concerned about having registered sex offenders on their campus.

“I’m just a little worried about the younger students,” she said. “There’s a lot of dual enrolled students here, especially from Buchholz, who are sixteen, seventeen.”

Alexander Christie, a Santa Fe student, said she isn’t bothered by the new information because sex offenders are already catalogued with the county and state, but it does allow students to take extra precautions.

“I’m part of the emailing list for both the state and the county,” Christie said. “If anybody who’s a sex offender moves into the area or where myself or loved ones lived, I get an email.”

Ed Book, the Santa Fe College police chief, said Santa Fe focuses on safety by using what the department terms “threat assessment.”

“We have college officials here every week to talk about who’s on our campus, whether it’s students or staff, and then we have a police force,” he said. “We’re one of only four colleges in the entire state out of 28 that deems safety and security so important that we have a police force.”

To use the university search, visit the FDLE website.


This entry was posted in Crime and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Crime

The Alachua County Sheriffs's Office Lenco BearCat Armored Personnel Carrier.

Sheriff’s Deputies Reprimanded After April Traffic Stop

Two Alachua County law enforcement officers were reprimanded after using an armored vehicle to pull a man over. Lucas Jewell was on his way home after the Orange and Blue game with one other passenger in his car.


Dignity Village

Police Union Raises Concerns Of Safety Issues At Local Homeless Community

Both the number of residents and reported incidents have increased at Dignity Village. Gainesville Mayor Ed Braddy and local PBA Representative Lt. Mike Schibuola discussed the rise of safety concerns for the local homeless community at a meeting Tuesday.


FDLE Takes Over Investigation Into Death Of Toddler

FDLE continues the investigation of a 16-month-old’s death. CCSO found the toddler unresponsive in a car Tuesday afternoon.


Florida Man Wanted For Murder Arrested In Upstate New York

Florida man wanted for murder has been arrested in upstate New York. The 25-year-old is wanted in connection with the murder of Thomas Nelson, who was shot to death in a Florida parking lot in May.


mugshotfinal

Man Involved In Robbery Arrested After Shoot-Out With Police

Yowab Ben-Israel has been charged with robbing the 1401 N. Main Street post office on Tuesday and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Police said Ben-Israel was injured by police gunfire after he pulled and pointed a gun at two responding deputies.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments