Last October we blogged about what it means when a person labeled by the State of Colorado as a sexually violent predator (SVP) moves into town. Today we began notifications to the community that another SVP, 30-year-old Christopher Stubblefield, will now be living in Grand Junction. With these new developments we have noticed comments from the public that make it apparent there is still some confusion regarding SVPs and what the law requires, so we thought it would be a good idea to repost some of the information from the previous blog:Originally posted Oct. 21, 2010
There are some differences between SVPs and other registered sex offenders. An SVP is a sex offender that also meets criteria set by the State and who has had an assessment done that determined they are at a higher risk of reoffending. Whenever they move to a new area or change addresses the agency whose jurisdiction they are living in is required by law to notify the public. That’s why you will see us alerting the media, posting information on websites, calling community meetings, or placing informational programs on Cable Channel 12 with information about SVPs.
So, do you need to be more worried about an SVP as opposed to any other registered sex offender? Yes and no. Assessments show SVPs are more likely to reoffend, which is of course a concern, but the requirements placed on SVPs are more strict in regards to how often they have to check in with law enforcement. For example, here at the GJPD SVPs are required to check in with the person who manages our sex offenders every week, regardless if they are still under supervised probation or parole. That’s in addition to periodic address checks we do throughout the year. And remember, every time they change their address, we send out a notification, which is not true for other sex offenders.
What about protecting yourself and your family? There are several things you can do- most importantly know who’s living around your home, your place of work, and your children’s schools. That’s easy to do, thanks to a team effort by all of the law enforcement agencies in Mesa County. We’ve created a single website that lists every registered sex offender living in the county, including SVPs. There are pictures and a map, and you can search the site a number of different ways. Both the Grand Junction Police Department and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office have a link to an educational video about SVPs too. The only catch is state law does not allow us to put the names and pictures of people with juvenile or misdemeanor convictions on the website. While the site will let you know if those types of offender are living in your area, to get their name and picture you’ll have to stop by the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction for that address.
Kids need to be educated too. Let them know if there’s a house in your neighborhood you don’t want them playing in front of, or if there’s a neighbor you don’t want them to trick-or-treat at. Don’t let them go door-to-door for fundraisers. And, when your kids are out, know who they are with. What most people don’t consider is most sex offenders, including SVPs, are people the victim knows. If you ever suspect there’s something inappropriate going on with your child start asking questions and look into it.
There’s one more key piece of information you need to consider when we talk about SVPs. The law says unless there are specific restrictions placed on them when they are sentenced, SVPs have the same right to live wherever they want, just like you do. We as a police department can’t regulate that. So, if an SVP does move into your neighborhood, and you don’t like that, you still don’t have the right to harass, threaten, or intimidate the offender or the offender’s family. There’s a major benefit to you and the community for the anti-vigilantism law- we don’t want sex offenders to go underground and hide. If we can continue to have our sex offenders register their addresses and places of work with us, then we can keep track of them and know where they are. That gives you as a member of the community more power to make informed choices, and that is exactly what we want.
If you ever have questions regarding sex offenders, feel free to stop by the police department at 625 Ute Ave. or call us at 970-244-3555. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation also offers information on the web regarding sex offenders.
The folks at KKCO have asked us to help them with a story they are working on regarding your safety when you are posting online. This vague blog entry is part of the demonstration we will be doing for them. Once they’ve aired their story, which is scheduled for later this week, we’ll give you some more details. Stay Tuned!
The Colorado Department of Corrections has asked for help in spreading the word that they are looking for Jesse J. Bowers. Bowers escaped from custody while in Craig after a parole revocation hearing on Tuesday, March 22. His physical description is:
- 36 years old
- 5’7″ tall
- 170 lbs
- Green eyes
- Brown hair
Bowers was convicted of burglary, assault and criminal mischief out of Garfield, Mesa, and Moffat Counties.
Bowers should be considered dangerous. Do Not attempt to apprehend him.
If you know where he is call Crime Stoppers at 241-STOP or visit www.241-STOP.com
We Hope More People Will Take Advantage of this Free Service
Community Alerts sent to 964 people Tuesday night provided those people with important information regarding a power outage that hit large sections of Grand Junction. Those receiving the alerts were not only notified the power was out, but were also updated when the power was restored.
“This is an important tool for our community,” said Communications Center Manager Monica Million. “Regardless if you’re at home, at work, on vacation, or anywhere else, we are able to notify you of important events, but only if you sign up to receive this free service.”
Community Alerts are broken into five categories: power outages, traffic alerts, road closures, school closures, and prescribed burns and wildfires. They are also separate from Emergency Alerts made through our 911 Communications Center. You must sign up to receive Community Alerts, and by doing so you can choose which categories you want included for your alerts and how you want to receive the alerts. For example, Community Alerts can call your cell, work, or home phones, or send you a text or email message.
There’s a bonus too. The contact information you enter when you sign up for Community Alerts automatically gets included in our Emergency Alerts system. There is a reason why that is very important; when there is an emergency in your neighborhood the only way we can notify you is through a traditional landline phone unless you have provided us with additional contact information. That means even if you do not have a traditional landline phone in your home but you have provided a cell phone number for Community Alerts, for example, we would still be able to notify you if there is an emergency happening near your house by calling your cell phone.
Signing up is easy and only takes a couple of minutes. Simply visit www.gjcity.org and look for the link on the left side that reads Sign up to receive Emergency Notifications. You can also watch a short video by visiting http://gjcity.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=6&clip_id=379
You can also check out this brochure for more information: CommunityAlertsBrochure030911
You may have caught the news story KJCT reporter Don Coleman did Thursday night regarding a copper theft case we are currently working. As Det. Cody Kennedy said in the interview, copper theft is a growing problem across the country, and Western Colorado isn’t immune.
Det. Kennedy isn’t the only GJPD officer working copper theft cases- there are several investigations going on, and although we are aware of at least one local victim we believe there are potentially other victims we do not know about.
Possible victims could include anyone that sells, holds, or buys copper wiring, pipe or parts. If you fall into any of these categories we ask that you check your inventory for loss or theft over the past six months.
If you believe you or your business is a victim of copper theft please call the Grand Junction Police Department at 242-6707. We ask that you provide your contact information and a description of the products including the weight or amount of copper stolen.
If you have suspect information and wish to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 241-STOP, send the information via the web at www.241stop.com, or text a tip to CRIMES (274637) with the word TIP729 in the message.
The Grand Junction Police Department needs your help in identifying the suspect(s) involved in vandalizing the dormitories under construction at 1280 Cannell Avenue. Sometime between 12:00am Sunday February 6th, and 9:00am Monday February 7th, unknown suspect(s) entered the building under construction and sprayed graffiti on the walls, shower enclosures and discharged multiple fire extinguishers.
If you have information that would help solve this or any other crime, please contact Crime Stoppers at 241-7867. Information leading to an arrest can earn you up to $1,000 cash reward and you will remain completely anonymous. For more information on how to report a crime see us at www.241stop.com.
From time to time we receive “Missing Children” posters from other Colorado law enforement agencies. Today we received some information from our fellow law enforcement officers at the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office in Cortez about a case their investigators are working involving 4 missing children. Although the GJPD has no involvement with this investigation we thought we would help them by spreading the word and the photos in hopes that someone may have seen this family. Montezuma County does not have any information that they are in the Grand Junction area, but they would be grateful for any leads or tips they can get on the whereabouts of these kids.
Here are the details Montezuma County is sharing with the public:
Details: Brooke, Kaylee, Makena, and Tanner were allegedly abducted by their mother Carina Bieber. A felony warrant for kidnapping was issued for Carina on December 30, 2010. Tanner was last seen on January 1, 2010. He may have his nickname “TJ” shaved into his hair or he may have a mohawk. Brooke’s nickname is Brookie. Kaylee has a scar under her eye. Her nickname is Kay Kay. Makena’s nickname is Kena. Carina is biracial. She is Hispanic and White. Carina has multiple scars on her face. She has a tattoo on her neck and the tattoos “Love” and “Hope” on her wrists. Carina may use the alias last name Shippy, blair, or Rael.