From the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30
For Immediate Release
December 12, 2002
Contact: Lewis Simmons
Phone: (940) 689-0191 ~ (940) 636-3765
Senator Estes files bill requiring registered sex offenders to report name changes
AUSTIN -- State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) filed legislation today intended to close a legal loophole by helping law enforcement agencies better supervise registered sex offenders who change their names. Senator Florence Shapiro (R-Plano) has joined as a co-author.
Existing state law requires convicted sex offenders to register for supervision by a local law enforcement agency. Registrants must notify the supervising agency of changes in their address, employment, vehicles, telephone number, etc. However, current law does not require registrants to notify authorities of name changes.
"As a state, we must protect our most vulnerable citizens from habitual sex offenders," Estes said. "This bill is intended to close a loophole that currently inhibits law enforcement's ability to track offenders and keep the public informed as to their whereabouts."
Senate Bill 146, filed today for consideration during the 78th Texas Legislature, seeks to strengthen the law and assist local law enforcement agencies to better supervise registered sex offenders by amending Article 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Estes credits Terry J. Dunn, an investigator with the Family Services Division of the Sherman Police Department, with identifying the legal glitch and bringing it to the legislator's attention.
"I have said many times that the best ideas don't always come from Austin, that the best ideas often come from people right here in Senate District 30. This is a prime example, and Investigator Dunn is to be commended for his insight and initiative," Estes said.
"I am very pleased that the system does work for the ordinary citizen if they take the time to contact their legislators. I am glad that Senator Estes has filed this legislation. This is wonderful," said Dunn, a 25-year veteran of the Sherman Police Department.