Sex offender laws becoming labor intensive

Reporter: Jared Austin
New Media Producer: Amanda Lents

Indiana's sex offender laws are getting tougher. The newest law bans sex offenders from social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook.

But with each change made by the state, the sole responsibility to enforce them falls to local law enforcement.

Detective Tom Wedding with the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office says, "To my knowledge every legislative session since 2003 the laws concerning the sex offender registry have always been enhanced."

Legislators continue to mandate new laws to protect women and children from sex offenders and Detective Wedding says he's not surprised, "It's a socially sensitive issue so I believe legislation will constantly be revised in regards to the registry."

However, each new revision brings more administrative and investigative responsibility.

Wedding says, "I'm basically a one man show concerning registrations of sex offenders and also the investigation of sex offenders."

Detective Wedding says the sheriff's office is maintaining pace with the new laws, "This past January we completed nearly 400 registered sex offenders and conducted the annual registration during that period for a two month period. Sheriff Williams assigned a motor patrol deputy to assist me in my duties."

With more additional laws to the registry likely to surface in the future, Detective Wedding says authorities state wide will need extra help, "I am sure most sheriff's offices through out the state of Indiana would like to see mandated funding or some kind of funding created through legislation if they want these laws enforced and enforced strictly. Naturally it is going to take help. You can't always rob Peter to pay Paul and do a complete job in regards to registered sex offenders."

When the new law takes affect in July registered sex offenders will also have to provide user names and email addresses to their local sheriff's office.