More than 18,000 people have downloaded the North Carolina Department of Justice’s new app since it went live on January 31, Attorney General Roy Cooper said Monday. During a period last week it was nationally ranked as one of the top ten educational apps on iTunes.
The new app allows users to search for registered North Carolina sex offenders by GPS location or street address from wherever they are.
The app, which was unveiled last week, is currently available for iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® and can be downloaded via iTunes® or at ncdoj.gov. Cooper’s office is continuing to work on developing an app that will work on other platforms, such as Android.
“Parents and citizens have responded by adding this important tool to their overall safety plan,” Cooper said. “We’ve received useful feedback and will continue to work to make sure more North Carolina families have access to this critical information.”
Offenders’ home addresses are pinpointed on the app’s on-screen map and users can search for all offenders within a one, three or five mile radius and can zoom in on the map. Clicking on an offender’s name allows users to view detailed information, including photos and a physical description. An additional click on the offenses button pulls up a list of the offender’s crimes requiring registration, including the age of the victim(s).
Users can also sign up to receive email alerts whenever a registered offender moves near their home, local school, day care center or any other address they choose, or to receive alerts about a particular sex offender.
The app was developed by the Department of Justice’s information technology staff using information submitted by local sheriffs to the NC Sex Offender Registry maintained by the State Bureau of Investigation.
By making the public more aware of the location of registered sex offenders, the new app can also help law enforcement crack down on sex offenders who move without providing a new address as required by law. Anyone with information about a convicted sex offender who is not properly registered should notify their local sheriff.