SURPRISE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - People living in some neighborhoods in Surprise were surprised to find out they had a sex offender living nearby.
The Surprise Police Department failed to send out notifications about 22 recently released sex offenders. People are required to be notified, under Federal law. Now, an internal investigation is underway.
"It's disappointing," said a concerned person who lives in the area, only identified as "Jason". "I would hope that the neighborhoods would be informed and up to date."
The Surprise Police Department is now working hard to get these neighborhoods up to date. In December of last year, the department discovered that during 2016 and 2017, 22 sex offender community notifications weren't sent out. These are the ones that go to people's homes to notify them a recently released sex offender is living in the area.
They also discovered 10 sex offenders hadn't been evaluated yet.
"It's concerning to know that they're not sending out these notifications to families, especially myself because we have two young daughters, ages 8 and 13," said one person, only identified as "James".
Eight out of the 22 notifications have been sent out so far, and the department still working on sending out the rest. Neighbors say they hoping for some answers, sooner than later.
"I'm definitely not a proponent of vigilante justice against other folks, so it's not about that for me at all. It's just about being aware," said "Jason". "I believe the police should do their job, and if here's something suspicious or something uncomfortable, the residents should let police do their job, but I want to be able to be aware and know and recognize, so if something is out of the ordinary, I'd be able to call them."
DPS webpage on Sex Offender Compliance