FEMA helps State Police locate St. James Parish sex offender
Published 12:00 am Monday, November 28, 2005
By MOLLY DRYMAN
PAULINA — The Louisiana State Police have been working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to locate sex offenders, which includes a St. James Parish resident.
In order to track sex offenders, the LSP complied a list of the last known address of person’s in the Louisiana Sex Offender and Child Predator Registry and Wanted Persons in the National Crime Information Center.
The LSP asked that FEMA to cross-reference names supplied by the LSP with the names in FEMA’s database of people who have applied for hurricane disaster assistance.
The names of the individuals that matched the specified criteria were then given to the LSP.
Within the list of names was 27-year-old Paulina resident Maurice Melancon, according to Trooper Johnnie Brown with the LSP.
“After we locate the individuals, we go and pick them up,” Brown said. “If they are non-compliant, we arrest them.”
Brown said this process is specifically for those individuals who failed to give up-to-date information to the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information, post-Hurricane Katrina.
He also said the individuals have to update their information annually for 10 years after their conviction, with information such as their names, current addresses and their conviction.
“Law enforcement in Louisiana is committed to the safety of our citizens and ensuring compliance with our state’s sex offender laws,” said State Police Superintendent Colonel Henry Whitehorn.
“In October, I made a request to FEMA to cross-reference their database against our, and find a mutually satisfactory solution.”
Brown stated it should be stressed that FEMA has only give the LSP the names and locations of residents with outstanding warrants or who are registered sex offenders, which is permitted under the Privacy Act of 1974, which states:
“Where a record, either on its face or in conjunction with other information, indicates a violation of law criminal, civil or regulatory, the relevant records may be referred to an appropriate Federal, State or local law enforcement authority charge with enforcing or implementing such law.”
Brown said this effort was to assist with Operation Safe Neighborhoods, which began in August and is an ongoing enforcement effort.