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LOCKPORT – Niagara County residents are being urged to check the Niagara County Sheriff Department’s website to see if any of the county’s most serious sex offenders are living near them.

Sheriff James R. Voutour, noting that only the county’s 270 most serious offenders, out of the approximately 470 state registered sex offenders in the county, are legally required to submit to website identification, said such checks are important in the warm weather of summer.

For information, residents can go to www.niagarasheriff.com and click on the red link known as “Sex Offender Management” and follow instructions to check their neighborhood and to sign up to receive email alerts in the future. “The website allows you to register for this confidential email alert service through the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office and Offender Watch who will monitor your address thereby keeping you up to date of newly registered offenders,” Sheriff Voutour said.

The system, he said, will automatically alert signed up residents in real time via email when a sex offender moves within two miles of all the addresses the resident lists for his or her family, including a friend’s house, or grandparent or baby sitter’s home addresses.

Voutour said his office website also provides safety tips with many topics.

“Knowledge is power and knowing where the registered sex offenders reside in one’s area can help make the best choice for a safe and enjoyable summer,” the sheriff said.

Anyone interested in further information or with questions about the county’s Offender Watch can contact Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Flagler at 438-3314, the sheriff said.

email: mgryta@buffnews.com