Sex offender sweep underway in parts of West Michigan

Posted at 12:12 PM, Aug 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-13 20:10:03-04

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich.-- Less than half the registered sex offenders in the state of Michigan are not locked up, which means they live within our communities. Law enforcement must make sure they live at the addresses they are required to give police.

This week, the sex offender enforcement team was in Muskegon County and invited FOX 17 to show us the process of doing a sex offender sweep.

There are 113 registered sex offenders in Muskegon Heights along.

Wednesday was the last of a two-day sweep.

"Theres three different classifications of offenders," explained Trooper Richard Bell of the sex offender enforcement team.

"Some of them have to come into police agencies once a year, some twice a year and some four times a year. So in between those verification periods, law enforcement members in the community may go out and confirm or check the information they report.”

According to Michigan State Police, there are more than 29,000 sex offenders in the state. About 11,000 of them are locked up, the rest live within the community. That’s why it’s important for police to make sure all their information is correct.

"So far, with the results we obtained since yesterday, they have been very promising," said Trooper Bell. "There have been eight or nine, I think, out of all the homes we checked yesterday that we found to be non-compliant.”

Police said there was no reason they chose Muskegon Heights this week. These sweeps are done around the state.T

"We just want to ensure that the offenders are compliant and those people who expect law enforcement to be doing their job are being watchful over the population we are sworn to monitor.”

If you know of an offender not being compliant, call your local police department or leave a tip on the Michigan State Police sex offender registry.