In early December 2017 the Surprise Police Department became aware of a situation regarding our processes for sex offender community notifications. It was discovered that during calendar years 2016 and 2017 there were a total of 22 community notifications which were not completed. Additionally, there were 10 offenders who had not yet been evaluated to determine whether or not they were subject to community notification in accordance with Arizona state law.
Upon discovering this information, the Surprise Police Department immediately established a plan to assess the scope of the issue and begin making appropriate community notifications. Additionally, an internal investigation was started to determine how this occurred.
The evaluation and notification process involves many steps which include obtaining records from the jurisdictions where the original offense occurred. We have made completing the notifications a priority and are dedicated to completing the process by the end of March 2018. To date, Surprise Police have completed community notifications on 8 of the 22 registered sex offenders.
As we work to complete the notifications, residents are encouraged to continue utilizing the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Sex Offender Registration website which allows residents to identify whether or not there are registered sex offenders living in their community. Here is the link: http://www.icrimewatch.net/index.php?AgencyID=55662.
Our investigations team is cross-referencing all sex crimes in the City of Surprise with the names, descriptions, and addresses of these known sex offenders. At this time, there is no information or evidence to indicate any of these registered sex offenders have committed any sex crimes in our community within this time period.
In order to maintain the level of excellence our community has rightfully come to expect from the Surprise Police Department, we have recently implemented an inspection function which is designed to look at critical operations within the department and ensure they are being completed in accordance with established protocols.
“The men and women of the Surprise Police Department are committed to maintaining our public’s trust, the safety of our community and the level of service expected of us. We are thoroughly investigating this matter to determine how and why it occurred and correct any deficiencies which allowed it to occur in the first place,” said Surprise Police Chief Terry Young.
Residents with questions regarding this matter are encouraged to contact our Criminal Investigations Division Commander Johnson at 623-222-4048.