CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF
BURNET — Local law enforcement along with federal and state agencies took aim at sex offenders who fail to comply with registration, address and child protection rules in a two-day operation March 31 and April 1.
The U.S. Marshals Service, working with the Texas Attorney General’s sex offender task force, the Burnet Police Department and Burnet County constable’s offices, tracked as many as 90 individuals charged with crimes against children under age 17 in Burnet County to assess the status of their terms of release, according to Burnet Police Chief Paul Nelson.
“We’re going door to door on every one of them,” Nelson said “If they’re not at the house, we’re going to find them or (find) where they’re working. We make sure they’re up to date on their registration; they’re living where they’re supposed to be living; and if they have rules, such as if they can’t have any kids, we make sure there are no kids.”
Teams of peace officers each checked up on about a dozen registered sex offenders during the two-day sweep.
Burnet County Pct. 4 Constable Christopher Jett was among those teams.
“We’re helping the investigators get out to where they need to be, providing information they may not have about people we’re aware of,” Jett said.
In some cases, officers gathered DNA swabs from registrants and updated images for databases when necessary, he said.
“These people have committed serious offenses. It’s important to protect the public and let them know where they are, what they’re driving and where they work,” Jett said. “If an incident comes up, we have a database of prior offenders that we can look at.”
In the city of Burnet, police monitor seven registered sex offenders, who must comply with local distance ordinances involving churches, schools, playgrounds and places where children congregate.
“I can say that we’re compliant (in the city) completely,” Nelson said. “It keeps them under control where they live. A lot of them can’t find places to live in the city. We’re controlling that quite a bit based on that ordinance that’s working out quite well.”
The cooperative effort among agencies also helps cross check data.
“Everything should match as to what we have and what the state of Texas has. It’s double checking our paper work,” Nelson said. “Sex offenders, a lot of them are very dangerous individuals towards kids, so we’re here to make sure they’re doing the right thing and let them know we are watching them at all times to make sure they’re complying with their rules and regulations.”
For those who fail to follow the terms of their release, the AG’s office is expected to issue warrants for their arrests.
For more information, call the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office at (512) 756-8080. To find out the list of registered sex offenders in local communities and across the state, go to www.txdps.state.tx.us.