Better communication regarding SVPs needed

Supervisor Joel Anderson

Would you be surprised to learn that 67% of all Sexually Vi­olent Predators (SVPs) are cur­rently located in East County? It’s true. What makes matters worse is that the courts may soon place as many as three more of these criminals in unin­corporated El Cajon. If this hap­pens, that percentage will jump to over 70%.

I understand, and fully appre­ciate, that nobody wants these individuals in their community, and I’ve heard the argument that they must go somewhere, but 70% in one district? Some dis­tricts in San Diego County have zero percent. How did this hap­pen? Like everyone else, this is what I wanted to know.

I instructed my staff to re­search this issue and, after sev­eral weeks, the information we received from state and local of­ficials was unclear, contradicto­ry, and incomplete. Most of the public agencies we contacted in­dicated that they have no ability to expand their roles in the noti­fication of registered sex offend­ers and the housing of SVPs. We found there is no requirement for local law enforcement to be notified until 10 days after a reg­istered sex offender moves into a residence. We also found a lack of clarity and inter-communica­tion exists between governmen­tal departments, agencies, and law enforcement task forces. Disturbingly, the San Diego Sex Offender Management Council (SOMC), a board of law enforce­ment and public health officials responsible for community pro­tection and prevention of future sexual violence, has been inac­tive since 2019.

In other words, the process is dysfunctional, lacks transpar­ency, and has inadequate public notification requirements. This is unacceptable.

I believe the County has the resources and the ability for an improved notification and place­ment process on the housing of registered sex offenders. It is for this reason I introduced a direc­tive by the San Diego County Board of Super visors instruct­ing the San Diego County Coun­sel and the Chief Administrative Officer to fully investigate and report back with actions that can be taken to improve the process­es and procedures in notifying the public on proposed place­ments and living situations for sex offenders.

I am pleased that the Board unanimously approved my item and I want to thank my col­leagues for their support. The appropriate placement of these dangerous individuals demands our full and immediate attention. When simple questions cannot be answered on such an impor­tant matter, the consequences threaten the safety of our citi­zens—particularly our children. It is irresponsible to allow this situation to continue and I intend to do everything I can to prevent the dumping of sex offenders in our communities. It’s time for local authorities to step up and lead this process.

I would appreciate the op­portunity to keep you updated on this important issue. Please visit my website at www.supervi­sorjoelanderson.com to join our mailing list and receive news on future developments.

Better communication regarding SVPs needed

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