Public forum to be held on OH violent offender registry

Public forum to be held on OH violent offender registry
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

MAUMEE, OH (WTOL) - Should Ohio have a violent offender registry?

Ohio State Senators, law enforcement officers, and a local group against violence are teaming up to discuss just that.

A public forum will be held Wednesday, Aug. 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Evergreen High School.

This comes after the murder of Sierah Joughin in Fulton County.

At a board meeting last Thursday, Paula Walters and her team with 'Standing Courageous' prepared for the forum.

Walters will join Senator Randy Gardner (R-District 2), Senator Cliff Hite (R-District 1) and Fulton County Sheriff Roy Miller at the public forum on a violent offender registry.

"One in 351 people in Ohio will become a victim of violent crime," said Walters. "That's, you know, that's a chance I don't want to take with my life and people shouldn't want to take that with their's."

Walters says many violent offenders re-offend and a list would let people know who they're dealing with. She says they're focusing on 15 crimes, not including things like misdemeanors.

"Murder, trafficking of humans, like the things that you don't accidentally do, and you don't normally just get yourself caught up in, and it's usually a violent act that we're asking for," said Walters.

She says depending on the crime, those who make the list won't necessarily be on it forever.

"As long as you don't have anymore infractions with the law, you would eventually get yourself off of there," said Walters. "If you continue to have infractions, the longer you will be on there."

Walters says she doesn't just want supporters to attend the meeting at Evergreen High School next Wednesday.

"I especially would like the people who are unsure about it, why we would need it, or don't think it's a good idea to come and make themselves well-informed," said Walters.

Outside of the offender registry, Standing Courageous' mission is to: "Bring awareness, education, and understanding of interpersonal violence to first responders and healthcare providers; we also strive to work with community partners to provide assistance and healing to victims on interpersonal violence."

Walters, a survivor of domestic violence, started the group in October 2015 as a way to help people. The board is made up of all volunteers, some of whom work in the medical field, and one detective with the Perrysburg Township Police Department.

To learn more or get involved with Standing Courageous, click here. Walters says they are looking for volunteers and donations.

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