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Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - May 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company

DPS announces changes to registered sex offender web site
Houston County Courier -  May 2009

The Texas Department of Public Safety has unveiled a complete redesign of the state's sex offender registry. With enhancements to the public website, users will be able to subscribe to e-mail notifications about database changes in a specific zip code or to a specific offender's record, as well as access additional information about specific offenders, including their reported workplace.
The website can be found at: https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/DPS_WEB/Portal/index.aspx.
Enhanced mapping allows users to search by name, address, zip code and county. Lists of names include the proximity of each registered sex offender to the address provided by the user.
New information about registered sex offenders that is now available to the public:
*       The offender's complete work address
*       Whether the offender attends an institution of higher education
*       The offender's occupational license information
*       Texas and out-of-state sex offenses
Users also will be able to subscribe to an e-mail service that will notify them when changes are made to a specific offender's record or when a change is made to the record of an offender who resides in that zip code.
To subscribe, users should click on "create a subscription" and select the type of report they wish to subscribe to from a drop-down menu. 
They will enter the zip code, address, school or SID they are interested in being notified on and then enter their email address and click on "done."
The bulk of the rewrite made changes to behind-the-scenes processes, including automating some processes and streamlining others.
With the changes, DPS sex offender registry personnel will be able to easier reconcile the sex offender database with the Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) and National Crime Information Center (NCIC), as well as automate many necessary reporting functions and enhance the system's notification capabilities.
The system rewrite took several months and cost $1.2 million.



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