SEX OFFENDER IDENTIFICATION
Eastern Shore Sen. Richard Colburn (R-37) has submitted a bill that would require the state to put a code on the driver’s licenses of convicted sex offenders so police will be able to identify them.
The code would be something that only police can understand, such as a special numerical code or barcode. The purpose is to alert police that they are dealing with a convicted sex offender, so the officers can ask additional questions if necessary.
A similar measure failed to pass last year amid concerns that it violated the offenders’ rights. Local representatives supported the legislation and wondered if it might have prevented the death of 11-year-old Sarah Foxwell of Salisbury in December 2009, whose accused killer is a registered sex offender.
“This was in the predator bill the Eastern Shore delegation submitted last year. I believed in it last year and I still think it’s important,” Sen. Jim Mathias (D-38) said. “It’s a tool for police and investigators and offers heightened awareness of who they’re dealing with.”
Delegate Mike McDermott (R-38B) agrees.
“I think anything we do that might aid law enforcement in making sure our children are safe and we understand who we’re dealing with when we stop a vehicle is not a bad thing. If it had an impact one time and helped save one child, then it would be worth it,” he said.