The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office will be part of “Offender Watch” in 2018. Beginning on January 1st, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office will launch a new sex offender registration and public notification website called “Offender Watch.” The online-based service is linked to over 5,000 law enforcement agencies, with better than 40 in Illinois. In a release from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office it says the site allows residents to search for potentially dangerous sex offenders that may be close to homes, schools, churches or businesses. And, the website also has notification capabilities, as users can enter addresses into the site and will receive notifications if anyone listed as a sex offender moves into the vicinity. The release says the Fayette County law enforcement officers using Offender Watch will have the most up to date information on all offenders registered in our county and surrounding participating counties including Clay, Effingham, Marion, Montgomery and Shelby counties. State law mandates that sex offenders register and they are charged $100 per year—with portions of the feed going into programs like Offender Watch, so there is no cost to the tax payers and no cost to the citizens using the service. The program is also part of law enforcement’s effort to reduce public anxiety by proactively informing residents if an offender should move nearby.