COLUMBIA CITY â€” The Countyâ€™s Geographic Information System office in Columbia City is adding a feature designed to eliminate any doubt about where certain convicted felons can live.
Dan Weigold of the Whitley County GIS office made a report this week to the Whitley County Board of Commissioners about the latest feature in online information.
â€śWhitley County GIS Department has developed a new layer for its website,â€ť said Weigold. â€śItâ€™s called the offender layer.â€ť
County Attorney Dan Sigler joined the discussion to add additional explanation.
â€śThe Indiana statutes place limitations on where offenders can live,â€ť said Sigler.
According to Weigold, the offender layer will soon be added to the site showing the areas that certain sex and violent offenders are not permitted to live.
â€śIf they have the layer at their fingertips, they can just call it up,â€ť said Weigold.
Weigold said the law prohibits certain sex and violent offenders from living within 1,000 feet from licensed day-care homes, licensed day-care facilities, day-care ministries, schools, parks and some public facilities that fit within the law.
â€śThis layer was developed to assist sheriffs, probation departments, state parole (office) and even the public in recognizing these areas more efficiently,â€ť he said.
â€śThere will be an explanation added to the site that will explain the type of offenses that would be applicable to the buffer zones.
â€śAgain, this will only apply to some of the sex and violent offenders.â€ť
Weigold said the layer will apply to offenders who meet the criteria and who were convicted since 2006.
â€śI donâ€™t know how often weâ€™ll be able to update this, but itâ€™s a start,â€ť said Sigler.
Weigold responded by saying he expected his department could update the site monthly.
â€śI think itâ€™s a great idea,â€ť said Sigler.