Sex offenders stay in St. John deputies’ focus

Published 11:45 pm Friday, June 20, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE — St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Mike Tregre said his department is in constant contact with sex offenders.

“This compliance check proves that our efforts are working,” Tregre said. “We will not let up, and we want them to know it.”

A recent sex-offender compliance check executed by St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies resulted in 98 percent of targeted offenders found to be in compliance with the terms of their sex offender status.

Six teams comprised of two deputies canvassed the parish from 5 to 9 p.m. June 11, conducting compliance checks on 56 registered sex offenders. Deputies were seeking to verify all information the offender provided during his or her registration, including address, vehicle information, employment information and telephone numbers.

Assistant Warden Lt. Gordon Jeffcoat, SJBPSO sex offender registration commander, said deputies found only one sex offender who was noncompliant.

He said the offender no longer lived at the address provided during registration, adding an arrest warrant for the offender would be executed sometime this week.

Jeffcoat, who took over sex offender registration two years ago, said all compliance information is shared with the Louisiana State Police, and that he and Sgt. Denise Bertrand work in conjunction with District Attorney Tom Daley and district judges to ensure the parish is safe from non-compliant sex offenders.

“I can’t think of anything more important then keeping children safe,” Jeffcoat said. “We have a zero tolerance policy.

“If (the sex offenders) don’t comply, they will be arrested.”

He said offenders have three days from any change in required information to inform the Sheriff’s Office. After that, any unreported changes lead to an offender’s arrest. The Sheriff’s Office has two scheduled compliance checks a year, one around Halloween and one in the summer months.

Jeffcoat created a system identifying houses where registered sex offenders live so children would not approach those homes for Halloween. Multiple random checks are also done throughout the year, and Jeffcoat said the ultimate goal is to have everyone in compliance.