Florida funds sex offender database search by school

Florida Legislature allocates $18K to update FDLE's Sex Offender, Predator database search

MIAMI - Change is coming to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Sex Offender and Predator database following a Local 10 investigation.

You will soon be able to search for registered sex offenders and predators listed by the college or university they attend or work at. Currently, you can only search the database by name or neighborhood.

The Florida Legislature allocated $18,000 to update FDLE's computer program.

State records show more than 100 registered sex offenders attend or work on campuses in South Florida.

It took Local 10 weeks to get a list, and only after we requested it.

Students who Local 10 interviewed said they had no idea the information even existed.

"I really appreciate you bringing this to my attention," said State Senator Eleanor Sobel. "You do not know who is on your college campus, you do not know who is in your class, you do not know who is in your study group, you do not know who you are having a drink with."

The Texas Department of Public Safety has a link on their website that allows users to search for sex offenders by campus.

Because the Florida Department of Law Enforcement already tracks that information, Sobel and Local 10 wanted to know why it couldn't be done here.

"We met with the FDLE -- they didn't need a law, they didn't need statutory changes," said Sobel. "All they needed was a little bit of money to put it on their website."

The money becomes available July 1.

The Florida Sheriff's Association and Florida Police Chief's Association supported the measure brought to their attention by Sobel.

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