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DA, SHERIFF RECEIVE GRANT FUNDS FOR SEX OFFENDER TASK FORCE
RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA, February 21, 2007: District Attorney Rod Pacheco announced today that a $731,950 grant has been awarded from the Governor's Office of Emergency Services for the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Team Program targeting sex offenders.
"We appreciate the support of Governor Schwarzenegger and the Office of Emergency Services. Keeping the women and children of our community safe from sexual predators is a top priority. These funds will greatly increase our efforts to aggressively prosecute sex offenders in Riverside County," said District Attorney Rod Pacheco.
Pacheco said the funds will be used to purchase equipment for the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) teams, a countywide task force targeting sex offenders.
"This is great news for our residents and these funds will help us underwrite the cost of providing these six regional teams. SAFE Teams are now essential to our ability to monitor and track these dangerous predators. Our teams are already making an impact with enforcement activity, sweeps, and monitoring of sex offenders. We are grateful that the Governor's office had confidence in our ability to get the job done and selected us for this grant. The $731,000 will be put to immediate use by the task force in purchasing equipment, vehicles, and offsetting our overtime costs for the SAFE Teams," said Sheriff Bob Doyle.
Chief Probation Officer Marie Whittington said, "This funding enables the Riverside County Probation Department to exchange valuable data and information with the district attorney and law enforcement to effectively supervise and monitor sex offenders on probation in Riverside County."
Supervisor John Tavaglione, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors said, "My colleagues and I myself have supported efforts to establish the new SAFE teams and voted unanimously to do so. We are delighted that the Department of Justice has selected Riverside County to receive this grant. We are eager to get our six teams up and running and these funds will help us in doing just that."
With nearly 3,670 sex offenders living in Riverside County, the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) task force focuses efforts on monitoring, surveillance, tracking, arrest warrant sweeps, registration, and group home monitoring and inspection of these sex offenders. The task force works with local law enforcement to provide sex offender release and location notification to the public. It consists of five regional compliance teams and one countywide oversight team. Twenty-two arrests have been made by the task force to date.
Also included in the task force is the S.P.I.D.E.R. (Sexual Predator Internet Decoy Enforcement in Riverside County) Unit which coordinates and facilitates undercover Internet sexual predator sting operations. This arm of the task force is now operational in Southwest Riverside County.
The SAFE task force combines the resources of the District Attorney's Office, Sheriff's Department, Probation Department, Banning Police Department, Corona Police Department, and the California Department of Justice.
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