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Surprise police failed to notify residents of 22 sex offenders in area

(Flickr/Surprise Police Department)

PHOENIX — Law enforcement officials in a northwest Phoenix suburb said Thursday they had failed to notify residents of 22 sex offenders who had moved in the area between 2016 and 2017.

The Surprise Police Department became aware of a situation in December regarding how the department processed sex offender notifications. That discovery uncovered 22 community notifications that were not completed.

There were also 10 more people who hadn’t been evaluated to determine whether the community should be notified that an offender was living in their neighborhood.

In a statement, Surprise Police Chief Terry Young said the department immediately established a plan to determine the scope of the issue and opened an internal investigation to establish how the oversight occurred.

“The men and women of the Surprise Police Department are committed to maintaining our public’s trust, the safety of our community and the level of service expected of us,” he said.

“We are thoroughly investigating this matter to determine how and why it occurred and correct any deficiencies which allowed it to occur in the first place.”

Sgt. Tim Klarkowski said the department is working to cross-reference all sex crimes in Surprise with the names, descriptions and addresses of these known sex offenders.

“At this time, there is no information or evidence to indicate any of these registered sex offenders have committed any sex crimes in our community within this time period,” he said.

The Surprise Police Department said it has since completed eight of the 22 sex offender notifications and is dedicated to completing the process by the end of March. Residents are encouraged to use the state’s sex offender registration website to track registered offenders in their community.

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