Sex offenders face-to-face mandatory check-ins

RICHLAND, Wash. -- KEPR is getting a closer look at how law enforcement tracks sex offenders. Keeping tabs on the registered sex offenders includes monthly face-to-face check-ins. KEPR met some of those who are required to report their whereabouts in tonight's big story.

William Farare is one of 104 registered sex offenders living in Richland. All but six are level one offenders, considered the least likely to reoffend.

Farare is one of those. Because he's a low risk, we're not allowed to tell you what crime he was convicted of nine years ago. Farare hasn't been in trouble since, but he's still required to register his address with police and tell them if he moves.

"It's definitely not easy, but it pays off in the long run and it always feels good to know that you did it for yourself and for other people that were involved in it or hurt by it and you know what you did was wrong and you want to do what you can to fix yourself and make sure that you're not a threat anymore and it won't happen again," said Farare.

Richland Detective Athena Clark and Department of Corrections Officer Sharon Roybal team up once a month for check-ins. Level one sex offenders are checked on in their home once a year.

"I want them to succeed, not only for themselves, but for the community as a whole, because if they succeed and I can assist in decreasing their likelihood to re-offend, then they're successful and the community is just overall a safer place for everyone," said Detective Clark.

Level two offenders get a twice yearly visit. And those most likely to reoffend, see Detective Clark and Officer Roybal at their door every 90 days.

"It's a safety thing for the community. They need to be aware that these types of people are residing in their community," said Detective Clark.

Farare is remorseful and has worked to move past his mistake.

"The toughest part was basically coming out and talking about it and basically admitting what the issue was and knowing that you had a problem and that you wanted to do whatever you could to fix it," said Farare.

Fixing it has meant he's now a free man despite his yearly checkins.

In our 5 and a half hour trip, we met face-to-face with a dozen sex offenders. Detective Clark leaves her card for the ones who aren't home. She expects a call back within 24 hours.

There are 463 registered sex offenders across Benton County. Most are level ones so if you go online and search your address, you'd never know if they were living next door. You can still search your home, work, day care or bus stop address on our website under newslinks.