New Sex Offenders Notification Mail

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Dothan police say in the past there has been a major delay in getting notification to residents when sex offenders move into the area.

With the help of the United States Postal Service a new program is quicker and far more effective.

It is a harsh reality that sex offenders live in the same neighborhoods as area children, but the Dothan Police Department is making changes to ensure that all residents in the area are properly notified.

"Utilizing this vendor is almost instantaneous. They make the postcards and then send them out," said Dothan Chief of Police John Powell.

The change comes after a local resident complained about receiving a sex offender notification more than six months after the offender moved into the area. Most people feel this is a necessary step in keeping residents in the area safe.

Interim Postmaster General Steve Simmons said, "I have grandchildren, and I don't want to wait six months to find out; I want to know immediately."

While the new system is slightly more expensive than the past system, police say the advantages are well worth the small difference in price. "[The] big concern I look at is safety; we want to make sure that residents are notified," said Powell.

Post office supervisors say that when the police send the information off, it will only be a matter of days before residents receive the notifications.

The Dothan Police Department is also working with the city technology department to get pictures and information about all sex offenders in the area on the city's Web site.

The new postcard sex offender notifications will start being mailed as soon as next week.