Aiken County checks up on sex offenders

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November 9, 2006

Sex offenders in your community.

They have to register...but are they where they say they are?

Starting today, deputies are checking twice as often, trying to make sure you know who's living next door.

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office is increasing patrols to decrease the odds of sex offenders slipping out of sight.

News 12 followed a deputy as he went door to door to see if all 229 sex offenders living in the county are at the address they gave the sheriff's office.

Starting tonight the sheriff's office will increase the number of random checks they do to two times a year instead of only once.

On July 1, state laws in South Carolina changed. The law now requires registered sex offenders to register with the sheriff's office twice a year instead of once. Sexual predators, on the other hand, must check in four times a year.

So far the sheriff's office says they've had at least 50 to 100 new sex offenders move into the county this year since Georgia passed tighter restrictions on where sex offenders can live.

This added patrol they're doing is not required by the state but rather a proactive measure to make sure all of them are accounted for.

"Other states' laws are different, and a lot more offenders are starting to come to Aiken County," said Sgt. Chris Funk.

Here's some good news: Sgt. Funk told us about 90% of the sex offenders in Aiken County are compliant with the sheriff's office. News 12 has reported some problems in the past across the river in Richmond County with sex offenders giving false addresses, but they say that's not a problem in Aiken County.