The names, faces and criminal histories of Spokane’s most likely to re-offend sex offenders soon will take a scroll down City Cable 5.
The council voted unanimously Monday to add sex offenders to the list of convicted and suspected criminals already broadcast on the government station.
Sex offenders’ names, along with their addresses and photographs, will be aired on City Cable 5 for a month after their release into the community.
“This is an important and necessary disclosure to the community,” said Councilman Chris Anderson, who in July suggested adding the names of sex offenders to the city’s broadcast.
“Awareness is the key.”
The council a year ago voted to broadcast the names of people convicted of buying or selling sex and of people arrested and convicted of buying or selling drugs. In drug cases, conviction is not required before names are broadcast.
Level 3 sex offenders are those considered “most likely to re-offend when they leave the institution” but who have served their sentences, said Assistant Police Chief Dave Peffer.
Peffer showed a test video, which included information about the offenders and their court-imposed restrictions.
Those restrictions include such things as “can’t be near schools or playgrounds,” or “can’t be in possession of pornography.”
Councilwoman Bev Numbers asked - and her colleagues agreed - to add a phone number to the broadcast stating where people should call if they have problems with a Level 3 offender.
While the test video had music playing in the background, Mayor Jack Geraghty asked the music be replaced with someone reading the text.
“The music makes it sound like something out of the FBI,” Geraghty said.
State law requires communitywide notification when a Level 3 offender is released from prison, Peffer said.
Of the approximately 500 convicted sex offenders living in Spokane, only 16 of those are Level 3 offenders, Peffer said.
Peffer told of one Level 3 sex offender released to Spokane who was considered so “likely to re-offend,” the prison “put a guard with him on the bus” to prevent his re-offending on the trip.
“Why are these people being released?” asked resident Steve Thompson.
“State law dictates their release,” said Mayor Jack Geraghty.
Community notification, as well as the registration law requiring sex offenders to register with law enforcement, was designed “to protect society from the predatory offender,” Peffer said.
The Police Department also plans to provide City Cable 5 with a video about crime prevention and personal safety.