Push For Tougher Sex Offender Notification Laws In Tennessee

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FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn.(WHNT)-Officials in Lincoln County, Tennessee are making a push for tougher sex offender notification laws in the Volunteer State.

Lincoln County Commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday night that calls on the Tennessee Legislature to adopt notification standards that most of the state's neighbors already have. Right now Tennessee lists all of its registered sex offenders on a state website ( http://www.tbi.tn.gov/sex_ofender_reg/sex_ofender_reg.shtml ). But Lincoln County Commissioner David Smith said the lack of any requirements for written notification in communities where sex offenders relocate to is unacceptable.

"There is no mailout or no notification to neighborhoods or potential neighbors of these registered sex offenders, so we're asking the state to change that law," said Smith. "We've received several complaints from citizens that they were not being notified, and it was a shock to them when they found out a sex offender was living next door to them. It is my understanding that there have been some who have moved from Alabama where the laws are much tighter and [more] strict."

Smith said residents who don't know about the state website, and those who don't have internet access, are currently oblivious to potential threats posed by convicted sex offenders who could strike again.

Commissioner Smith said he and his colleagues have received assurances that a bill to toughen notification laws will be introduced on the floor of the Tennessee House in Nashville in the coming weeks.