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Monday, October 12, 2015

3 Action Items: As of July 1 2015 Virginia’s Local Police and Sherriff’s Departments Can NOT Turn RSO’s Who are Attempting to Register, Re-Register or Update Their Photograph Away…… and if They Do the Administration Wants to Know About it Immediately Because They’ll Lose Funding!


Update: A 3rd Action Item was added after posting, be sure to check the end of this post!


Dear Readers, 

Over the last 7 years I have heard from so many of you who have had no luck or extreme difficulties when attempting to re-register or when needing to make a change in your residence, employment, vehicles, email or phone numbers at your local sheriff or police (county or city) department. 

Many of you have waited for hours in the lobby of your local police department waiting for someone to just fill out a form, some of you have been told they will only take your SO information one or two days a week during specific hours, some of you have been told they have no camera to take your 2 year SO photo…….then some of you who got the local authority to do the paperwork they either failed to get it to the VSP before your deadline OR they lost it all together resulting in an investigation of failure-to-register against you by the VSP.  

BUT….MOST of you who have contacted me over the years have been flat-out-denied to register any SO information with the local authorities, period! 

They have turned you away telling you that you MUST go to a Virginia State Police (VSP) Barracks even though your deadline might be that day or that hour (if an email address) and we all know the VSP Barracks not open 7 days a week/365 days a year (July 9, 2015 post ) nor is there a Barracks in every town, the nearest VSP location could be a 2+ hour drive each way!  

Well as of July 1st 2015 that should all be over.
 


I learned in a meeting three weeks ago that EVERY Virginia police and sheriff’s office in the state MUST take RSO’s registrations, re-registrations, photographs and information changes and if they don’t they will lose funding. 

It was part of the Budget Bill during the 2015 Virginia General Assembly session: 

Item 414 – Page 388
P. Effective July 1, 2015, the Superintendent of State Police shall provide training to all local law enforcement agencies on the proper method to register and re-register persons required to be registered with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. Should the Superintendent have  reason to believe that any local law enforcement agency is not registering sex offenders as required by § 9.1-903, Code of Virginia, the Superintendent shall notify the local law enforcement agency, as well as the Executive Secretary of the Compensation Board and the Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services. 

Item 73 – Page 63-64
S. Effective July 1, 2015, the Executive Secretary of the Compensation Board is authorized to withhold reimbursements due to the locality for sheriff and jail expenses upon notification from the Superintendent of State Police that there is reason to believe that any local law enforcement agency is not registering sex offenders as required in §9.1-903, Code of Virginia. Upon subsequent notification by the Superintendent that the local law enforcement agency is compliant with the requirements of §9.1-903, Code of Virginia, the Executive Secretary shall make reimbursement of withheld funding due to the locality in the same fiscal year in which the local law enforcement agency comes into compliance. 

Item 391 – Page 374
E. Effective July 1, 2015, the Director of the Department of Criminal Justice Services is authorized to withhold reimbursements due to a locality under Title 9.1, Chapter 1, Article 8, Code of Virginia, upon notification from the Superintendent of State Police that there is reason to believe the police department within a locality is not registering sex offenders as required in § 9.1-903, Code of Virginia. Upon subsequent notification by the Superintendent that the local law enforcement agency is compliant with the requirements of § 9.1-903, Code of Virginia, the Director shall make reimbursement of withheld funding due to the locality in the same fiscal year in which the local law enforcement agency comes into compliance. 

Now, this doesn’t mean they won’t make you wait extended periods in their lobby. 

It also doesn’t mean they won’t lose or delay sending your information to the VSP before your deadline. 

BUT, it does mean that if your local sheriff’s or police station is a shorter distance than to the nearest VSP Barracks and you’d rather go there you can even if you’ve been previously turned away! 

AND…….if you attempt to register with the local authorities as of July 2015 and you are denied the Administration wants to hear about it because the local authority could lose funding for turning you away. 

So, as of July 1st 2015 if you have been denied the ability to register your SO information OR to have your SO photograph updated by the local authorities I need to hear from you. 

Also, as of July 1st 2015 if the local authorities delayed the submission of your SO information to the VSP OR lost your information all together and the VSP launched an investigation because the local authorities aren't doing their part I need to hear from you.  

Action Item #1: 

In the subject line of the email to me marydavyedevoy@comcast.net please note, Local Authorities Denied My Registration After July 1st . 

Then include the following information in the email:
  1. Your first and last name
  2. What were you attempting (initial registration, 30 day re-registration, 90 days re-registration, annual re-registration, 2 year photo, change in current information like residence, employment, vehicle, etc)
  3. The date and time you attempted to register
  4. The location (street address, city and zip) and which organization (Norfolk Police, Hanover Sherriff, etc)
  5. Who (Sgt. J. Smith, Lt. B. Brown, Ms. White, etc) turned you away?
  6. Why (no one available, only do SO registrations on Tuesdays, only do SO registrations between 2 and 4pm, out of forms, camera broken, etc) did they say they were turning you away?
  7. If you were turned away because of a posted sign limiting days or hours for SO registrations what did the sign specifically say?
  8. Did you take a photograph of the sign with your phone? If so please include it with the email.
If you do not include all of this information then I can not assist you in this matter. 

Action Item #2: 

In the subject line of the email to me marydavyedevoy@comcast.net please note, Local Authorities Delayed OR Lost My Registration Paperwork to the VSP After July 1st. 

Then include the following information in the email:
  1. Your first and last name
  2. The date and time you registered, re-registered or were photographed
  3. The location (street address, city and zip) and which organization (Norfolk Police, Hanover Sherriff, etc)
  4. What did you have done? (Initial registration, 30 day re-registration, 90 days re-registration, annual re-registration, 2 year photo, change in current information like residence, employment, vehicle, phone numbers, email addresses, etc)
  5. What was the due date/deadline for the change or update you had done?
  6. Do you remember who helped you (Sgt. J. Smith, Lt. B. Brown, Ms. White, etc)?
  7. You should have a copy of the SP-236 or SP-236A form from when you visited the local authority. Yes the carbon can rarely be read but please take a photo of it with your phone, place a post-note over the SSN and include it with the email.
  8. When (the date) did you first learn that your registration never arrived to VSP Headquarters?
  9. How did you learn (phone call, home visit or letter) that your registration never arrived to VSP Headquarters?
  10. From who (first and last name) did you learn that your registration never arrived to VSP Headquarters?
  11. What were instructed to do because of the open investigation into your failure-to-register?
If you do not include all of this information then I can not assist you in this matter. 

These two action items are good forever, there is no deadline! 

If you experience either of the two above situations in the future, please take the instructed action above. 

It’s sad that withholding funds may have been the only way to fix this discrepancy but if that’s the only way to make sure every RSO in the Commonwealth can register with their local department, let’s use it to our advantage!

Oh, and if your VSP Compliance Officer or Trooper tells you that you can not register with the local authority and you MUST notify ONLY them (can’t even walk into a VSP Barracks), then I need to hear from you about that too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The VSP Compliance Officers and Troopers should NOT be telling you ONLY they can take your re-registrations or information changes and if they do as of July 1, 2015 the Administration needs to know about these occurrences it so let me know, that’s Action Item #3!
 Thank you! 

Mary Davye Devoy