CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – New Hampshire police departments are supposed to issue arrest warrants for sex offenders who aren’t complying with registration rules, but that isn’t happening in many communities.

According to the state trooper who is in charge of the state’s offender registry, there are 286 sex offenders and offenders against children who are not following registration laws, but police departments have issued arrest warrants for only 30 percent of them.

That means that if the other 70 percent were stopped by police, they wouldn’t show up in computer databases as noncompliant, said Trooper Jill Rockey.

In one case, Salem police list Edwin Vazquez, 41, as having been noncompliant since 1998 but a warrant wasn’t issued until the oversight was noticed in recent months. Deputy Chief William Ganley said his department will notify the state offender registry immediately that a warrant has been issued for Vazquez’ arrest.

“It is our duty and obligation to make sure the people who are supposed to register do so. We should be aggressively charging them and bringing them to court,” he said.

There are 2,200 offenders required to register in the state who are known to police.

Attorney General Kelly Ayotte said she has spoken to Rockey about the matter.

“It’s an issue I am going to speak to the commissioner of safety about and police chiefs to work to eliminate the number of noncompliant offenders,” she said.



Information from: New Hampshire Union Leader, http://www.unionleader.com

AP-ES-03-15-08 1135EDT


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