The Osage Nation Police Department is implementing a sex offender registry and plans to launch a Web site this fall which will provide public information on offenders living, working or visiting the Nation’s lands held in federal trust.
Launching the registry will help the Nation strengthen its monitoring and tracking of area sex offenders (who are Osage and non-Osage) as required by the Adam Walsh Child and Protection Safety Act which became law in 2006. In September 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded the Nation an Adam Walsh Implementation grant to start the project.
“We want to enhance the safety of our Osage people and children,” said ONPD Officer Brian Herbert who is project manager for implementing the registry. The police department is receiving training on using the resources and computer technology needed to maintain the registry, he said adding the department plans to launch the sex offender registry Web site in October or November.
If tribes do not comply with the Adam Walsh Act, they could lose their sovereignty rights and “we want to refrain from that,” Herbert said.
Herbert said ONPD will be focused on tracking offenders who live, work and are visiting the Nation’s trust lands. These trust lands include the three Indian villages, the Nation’s government campus and Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino locations.
When the Web site listing offenders (who have been charged, convicted in court and required to register with law enforcement agencies) is online, it will list the person’s name, age, photo, recent addresses and criminal history (excluding any victim identities), Herbert said. The police department will collect additional information which may not be viewed by the public, but will help the department and other jurisdictions such as employer information, driver license numbers, computer usage data, fingerprints and DNA samples, he said.
The offenders who are listed on the Nation’s registry will each receive a tier rating from one to three based on the crime(s) he or she has been convicted of, Herbert said. A tier of “1” will be for offenders who have committed minor offenses and “3” is reserved for major offenses, many of which require offenders to register their whereabouts with law enforcement agencies for the rest of their lives.
According to the National Congress of American Indians Web site, there is a section within the Adam Walsh Act requiring tribal governments “to affirmatively elect to comply with the mandates of the Act,” which is named for the son of America’s Most Wanted TV show host John Walsh. Adam Walsh was abducted from a shopping mall and murdered in 1981 which inspired his father’s career of apprehending fugitives and advocating for laws protecting children from sexual predators.
In July 2007, the First Osage Nation Congress passed a resolution (ONCR 07-12 sponsored by former Congressman Doug Revard and co-sponsor former Congresswoman Debra Atterberry) which states the Nation intends to comply with the Adam Walsh Act, prompting efforts to launch the offender registry.
Herbert said ONPD will be issuing more information on the Nation’s sex offender registry as it gets closer to launching the Web site.
The Osage Nation Police Department is at 1333 Grandview in Pawhuska and can be reached at (918) 287-5510 or toll-free at (800) 286-1867.