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Sex offenders will pay to register in Jeffco starting March 1

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By AJ Vicens

The nearly 300 active registered sex offenders in Jeffco will soon have to pay to register.

Starting March 1, the sheriff's office will charge convicted sex offenders $50 to register initially and a $25 re-registration fee, whereas there was no charge for the registration in the past.

"We don't want to be an unintentional target for sex offenders," sheriff's spokeswoman Jacki Kelley said, referring to the fact that sex offenders may have looked at Jeffco as a place to live without having to pay fees.

"This is a reasonable fee that would not deter sex offenders from registering, or cause sex offenders to relocate to Jefferson County to avoid fees collected by other jurisdictions," the sheriff's office wrote in a briefing paper submitted to the county commissioners last week.

The sheriff's office estimates the fees will generate about $20,000 that will partially fund a part-time hourly position in the sheriff's criminal Investigations division to help manage the registration and fee workload.

The sheriff's office has said it has "verbally notified" the courts and the Jeffco DA's office.

Twenty-five law enforcement agencies — 15 sheriff's offices and 10 police departments — were surveyed on their fees, and their charges ranged from $20 to $140 for initial registrations and $20 to $50 for re-registrations, according to the briefing paper.

The Jeffco Sheriff's Office has been registering sex offenders since 1998, according to the briefing paper, completing more than 1,175 initial registrations in that period. Sex offenders are required by courts to register in the communities where they live, and have to re-register and de-register at various stages of their individual court requirements. Local law enforcement only has to notify communities when sexually violent predators move into their communities, which refers to a classification of sex offenders with certain characteristics.

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com, and check www.columbinecourier.com for updates and breaking news.