Full-time residents in South Bethany are on the increase and its police department is on the job, helping to keep them safe.
But the town is now home to one resident that police are paying particular attention to, for safety’s sake.
South Bethany Police Department (SBPD) officials took to the streets April 21 to deliver, in person, the notification to residents that a sex offender was now living in the town. The notification was required under national Megan’s Law statues designed to ensure neighbors are aware that a convicted sex offender is living near them.
Lt. Linda O’Malley reported to the council and residents at a May 12 meeting that the department was monitoring a high-risk offender with a curfew. The man — now 28 — was convicted in June of 2004 of third-degree rape of a victim age 11 or younger.
That categorizes him as high-risk in the state’s sex-offender registry, and merited the stepped-up notification and monitoring.
Noting the town’s transient population of seasonal residents and renters, O’Malley said the department was also taking the additional step of notifying the town’s property owner’s association to allow it to further disseminate the information about the new resident.
She said he was supposed to be residing in the town only temporarily, with a relative, but the length of that stay had been undefined.
Asked by Councilman John Fields if the town would be notified when he did move, O’Malley said, “We’re keeping a close eye on him. I hope we’ll know when he leaves.”
More information on registered sex offenders in the area is available through the state’s Web site at www.state.de.us/dsp/sexoff.