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Maryland Joins Sex-Offender Registry Program

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Maryland is joining a sex-offender registry program that law enforcement officials say will make it more efficient to share records.

The Herald-Mail reported Sunday that Maryland became the 17th state to join OffenderWatch last week. A statewide contract will allow every sheriff's office, participating police departments and the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to use the technology.

Maryland residents will also be able to register online to receive alerts and updates at no cost when offenders register within a specific radius of their home.

OffenderWatch spokeswoman Camille Rome says the system should be available across the state within the next 90 days.

Washington County Sheriff Doug Mullendore says the system is more sophisticated than what's in place now, which allows for a manual search for offenders by name or address.

Don Rush is the News Director and Senior Producer of News and Public Affairs at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.