COLORADO, USA — Coloradans can already search the state’s sex offender registry to find out who is living in their neighborhood. Now, a new app can notify people when a sex offender moves into their community.
It’s called Gov2Go, a free app that helps connect governments with the citizens they serve.
In Colorado, the technology works through a partnership between Colorado Interactive, the Statewide Internet Portal Authority (SIPA), and NIC, a company focused on creating digital solutions for the government.
“We think information is powerful and so, as a result, this is information people can have, and then make decisions and judgment based on that,” said Jack Arrowsmith, Executive Director of SIPA.
The app connects users to information publicly available through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s Sex Offender Registry. Users can register up to five zip codes they want to track. The app will notify users weekly if anyone on the sex offender registry moves into the selected zip codes.
“Once that arrives on their phone, they can click on it and it will offshoot to the CBI site, and they will get specific information on the person that moved into that zip code,” Arrowsmith explained.
The app does not allow users to track a specific offender. However, members of the public can log onto registry to look up the residence of a registered sex officer.
Pam Moore is the parent of two young children and a writer who often covers family issues in her work.
“I looked up sex offenders in my neighborhood in 2010, that was when we moved into our house,” she said. “It felt relevant that time, and it’s not on my [current] list of things to do, like, every week. I do the laundry, I do the grocery shopping, I’m not like, oh, check on sex offenders.”
Moore called the goals behind the app “awesome,” and guessed that other parents, who run busy families with school-aged children, will find the app useful, too.
“Knowing that information would make me more comfortable about giving my children more freedom,” she said. “The more information you have, just the more powerful you can be the more informed decisions you can make.”
Through the Gov2Go app, Coloradans can also renew their plates, reserve a national park pass, and get election information. Soon, Arrowsmith said the app will launch a feature explaining the reasons behind any flags flying at half-staff in the state.
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