HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - When you look at the registered sex offender list in Huntsville you might be shocked to see several people without a listed address.
WAFF 48 News talked with police officers to find out how they keep track of the offenders.
When you visit the government sex offender registry, depending on your zip code, you'll find the same thing we did. Several people whose address is listed as homeless.
For example, within a 5-mile radius of the WAFF 48 studio on North Memorial Parkway, there are 106 registered sex offenders, and eight of them are listed as homeless.
That makes it hard for you to know where the offender is located.
But officers at the Huntsville Police Department say you shouldn't worry for your safety.
"Being homeless is not illegal, even if you're a sex offender. But to give the public reassurance, we want them to know, we do know where they're at and they have to show up once a week and check in with this investigator," said Lt. Michael Johnson.
If any one of these people doesn't show up for their weekly check-in there are serious penalties including prison time.
"They can be found in violation by either not showing up or if we do a surprise check and do to where they're suppose to be and they're not there, both of those are violations," said Johnson.
There are three precincts that the police department in Huntsville operate, and they say if you have any questions about anybody on the sex offender registry they can give you more information, so you don't have to worry about their address not being listed or being listed as homeless.
You can immediately show up to a precinct and we'll have the information available," said Johnson.
Johnson says the police department works closely with the government agency responsible for updating the registry, so the results on the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency's website are accurate.
Copyright 2018 WAFF. All rights reserved.