Operation Safe Summer: Madison Co. Conducts Sex Offender Sweep

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - There is a new effort by several law enforcement agencies to target sex offenders in Madison County.

The goal is to make sure they're living by the law.  Sure enough, agents say some are not.

About 400 sex offenders live in Madison County and are required to follow registration and notification laws of the state.  However, investigators say about 15 percent of them are not doing so.

Want to see if a sex offender lives near you? Search the Alabama Sex Offender Registry.

Six law enforcement agencies worked together on a three-day sweep this week called "Operation Safe Summer."  They finished Thursday at 10 p.m. and arrested eight people who they say violated Alabama's Sex Offender Notification Act.

Three have no bond due to parole violations.

Agents made face-to-face contact with about 400 sex offenders throughout Madison County and say 15 percent of the 400 were not compliant with state registration laws.

About 40 more people may be arrested in this operation.

Agents spent about 2,500 man hours to get the most out of the sweep, aiming to keep tabs on registered sex offenders and arm the community with knowledge.

"We don't want these guys out here just roaming around doing what they want to do,"
said Sgt. Brian Chaffin with the Madison County Sheriff's Office.  "We want to know what they're doing.  We want the community to know."

This is the second time local agencies have worked together to do a three-day sweep to check on sex offenders.

Now, the Madison County Sheriff's Office has assigned one investigator to doing this full-time, so the department can watch sex offenders more closely to prevent any repeat offenses.

Sex offenders have seven days to become compliant with state laws after they get out of jail or prison.