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.