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New sex offender registration begins | News

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New sex offender registration begins
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OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. (WZZM) -- Changes to the state's sex offender registration act are creating a massive backup at police agencies across Michigan.

There are an estimated 50,000 sex offenders in the state of Michigan. Close to 750 of them live in Ottawa County. Today, a large percentage of those people stood in lines at nearly 600 law enforcement sites all over the state.

The new act requires more information from sex offenders including finger and palm prints, social security numbers, passport information, email addresses and even online screen names.

The act also separates offenders into three tiers, by the severity their offenses. Tier 1 is the least severe and have to register at the beginning of each year. The second tier has to register twice a year. Tier 3 is the most severe, and must register quarterly.

Any changes in information must now be registered within three days, down from 10 days.

"I think they're good changes," said Record Management Director Scott Brovont. "Failure to provide information, or providing misleading information is a felony."

Registration for the new system opened on Friday, July 1st. The deadline is July 15th. Due to the volume of people lining up and the weight of those people on the centralized system, it has been, and is predicted to be, slow going.

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