Paragould EAST Lab helps police update sex offender zoning map

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Once a person is identified as a sex offender, where they can live is limited. We have a first look at how a group of EAST Lab students are helping officers map out were these offenders are allowed to live.

Students with the Paragould High School EAST Lab Program are using their computer knowledge to help Paragould Police monitor sex offenders living in the city limits.

"They are updating our sex offender zoning map," said Captain Greg Trout with PPD.

Students with the Paragould EAST Lab created the same type of map back in 2006. It's a tool Trout can use to pin point areas where level 3 and 4 sex offenders can and can't reside. "We've provided addresses, names of the daycare centers, schools, parks and recreation centers, teen centers," said Trout. The primary information that students can use that can then be converted into a map. Color coded circles mark the different facilities and the 2,000 foot buffer around those areas.

"Right now an updated map would be extremely beneficial simply because of the vast number of changes that are going on," said Trout.

Changes that include the new Greene County Tech Campus, as well as the construction underway on a new Paragould Primary School. Trout says the maps are not just an asset to officers, but the offenders he deals with on a weekly basis.

"There are extremely a few areas inside the city limits for level 3 and level 4 offenders. They can look at a particular address and see just real quickly whether or not they are restricted from living in that area," said Trout.

While there have been a few software issues, the new map is a work in progress. This is just one of numerous projects Paragould EAST Lab has done to help assist the department.

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