Only On 6: Sex Offender Patrol

This year Texoma has seen two major child sex abuse cases go through the Wichita County Courthouse.

The Rivers' trial and the Perrigo trial were both cases of sex abuse against children.  While these men in prison, there are more who are getting out of prison and starting their lives over in Texoma.

Newschannel 6 went to the Wichita Falls Police Department to learn what they do to keep track of registered sex offenders after they serve time.

Wichita Falls alone has 157 registered sex offenders, 155 males and two females.

"I think it's about average," said Sgt. Ginger Gilmore.

She heads the WFPD unit that handles sex offender cases.  The unit has six officers and this small group works hard to keep tabs on offenders.

"I have one detective that primarily deals with sex offenders to make sure that they comply with their registration requirements," she said.

Detective Sammy Motsenbocker has worked in this unit for ten years.  He has many responsibilities, but one of his main priorities is keeping registered offenders in compliance after they are released from prison.

"I would say Detective Motsenbocker spends probably 75% of his duty hours on sex offender compliance."

Each offender has a different set of rules and regulations to follow depending on the crime they committed.

Gilmore said, "We take photographs on a regular basis, we do note new tattoos, if they get a new vehicle they are required to tell us that."

Depending on their offense, an offender could have to come check in with the police department once a year or once a month.  The detectives take note of everything.

"They are required to give us any information about web sites or Facebook pages or social media pages, any kind of computer access that they have, we ask them about all of that."

Each and every registered offender must comply with what the unit calls random checks.

Gilmore explained, "Due to the number that we have that are registered, we have to do just a few at a time. So every few weeks they just take a few names and go out and randomly check those to make sure they are still living where we have them registered as living."

Detective Motsenbocker and others from the unit, take unmarked cars and drive door to door, checking the reported address of offenders and making sure that is where the offender really lives.

"I would say every time we do random checks, we might get one or two cases where we find that they are not in compliance."

Where they live matters because of a city ordinance called the safety zone.  The city enforces a 1,000 foot radius around places where children are most commonly found.

"It includes things like daycare's and schools and any place a child might be."

Sex offenders cannot live within these areas and Sgt. Gilmore and her team make sure they don't.

"it's a very time consuming responsibility," she said.

Time consuming, but an important part of what this unit does.  Sgt. Gilmore says it helps this small unit ensure safety.

"Keep the children in our community safer and help them if they have been a victim of a crime," she said.  "I have a great unit."

It's important to know who might live in your area.  The city has a web site that makes finding registered sex offenders in your neighborhood very easy.

Click here to enter your address, zip code or county and see if any offenders live in your neighborhood.

Taelor Rian, Newschannel 6.