The public reaction to the updated Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry (OSOR) has been overwhelmingly positive but one question keeps coming up across social media and the web:
“So there’s a registry for sex offenders. Why isn’t there one for murderers?”
Actually, there is. Violent offender registries haven’t received support at the federal level, but the State of Oklahoma operates a violent offender registry that can be used to look up offenders in your community.
As part of our work to update OSOR, we had to separate out violent offender data into its own system. A side benefit of that project is that the violent offender registry now uses much of the same technology and received many of same benefits of the updates to OSOR. It’s faster, more reliable, and more user-friendly.
Unfortunately, the federal funding that paid for the OSOR updates didn’t cover updates to the violent offender registry, so there’s still some room for improvement.
Map searches and location-based notifications aren’t currently available for violent offenders, but they could be easily added if the program receives more funding.
Without the federal mandate that oversees sex offender registries, the violent offender registry will need a champion here in Oklahoma to bring it up to the same level of functionality and refinement.
So if you’re a fan of the work that’s been done on OSOR and think it’s made our state a safer place to live, please contact your state representative and ask them about updating the violent offender registry. If you’re not sure who your representative is, the OK State Legislature site has an easy tool to find out.